Dimitris Papaioannou’s new project is under construction. Involving 11 performers on stage, the work takes shape around the notion that human life can be seen as a journey of discovery, an exploration for hidden treasure, an inner archaeological excavation for meaning.
In his thirty years of work Papaioannou has striven to create a universe on stage that could be described as a dreamlike absurd circus. Human bodies become battlegrounds, interacting with raw materials, fusing into hybrids, giving rise to optical illusions. His rootedness in the fine arts gives his performances a strong visual feel, as he juggles teasingly with art-historical references, various practices of expression and performing, and ideas about our origins. Dimitris Papaioannou aims at an utter simplicity of appearance that is far from simple to achieve. His intention is to shed light on the sacred in the mundane.
As an artist, performer, comic creator, choreographer, director and exhibition curator, Dimitris Papaioannou is always one step ahead. The legendary Edafos Dance Theatre which he founded and created with Angeliki Stellatou stirred up the Greek dance scene of the Eighties and Nineties with productions that inducted audiences into a highly personal visual universe. Then, riding the wave of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the acclaimed opening and closing ceremonies which he oversaw as creative director, Papaioannou broke new ground with performances that attracted audiences in numbers near unprecedented for contemporary dance. The choreographer used cutting-edge technology to frame his personal artistic world in productions like 2 and INSIDE, but Primal Matter and Still Life, which marked an opening up to international scenes, saw him return to a more pared-down aesthetic. Papaioannou continued to moves easily between the spectacle of opening ceremonies and more personal works whose gaze is fixed on the world as he knows it.