Festival 2021

Dimitris Papaioannou Nowhere

  • Mon 11 Oct, 5pm BST
  • Available until Sun 24 Oct
  • Admission: Digital Pass (Pay What You Can) £5, £10, £20, £30
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • Age guidance: Contains nudity

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Photo Marilena Stafylidou

Join Dance Umbrella as we present Dimitris Papaioannou’s iconic production NOWHERE – a filmed version of the original stage production commissioned by the Greek National Theater. Audiences will now have the opportunity to see the full edit released online for the very first time.

NOWHERE was originally conceived as a site-specific project, where the space itself was choreographed by programming the new stage mechanisms. A group of humans confronted the spatial challenges created, measuring space with their bodies. A meditation on the very nature of theatre, NOWHERE explores the concept of performance as a machine that mirrors human life.

The filmed version of the central scene (dedicated to the memory of Pina Bausch who had just passed away) was published 7 years ago in June 2014, and went viral with over 2.5 million views, and has been copied extensively.

Created, filmed, and edited by Dimitris Papaioannou. A co-commission of the New Vision Arts Festival (Hong Kong, China) and Dance Umbrella Festival (London, United Kingdom).

Gallery +

Photos by Marilena Stafylidou

Biography +

Dimitris Papaioannou. Photo: Julian Mommert

Photo Julian Mommert

Born in Athens in 1964, Dimitris Papaioannou gained early recognition as a painter and comics artist, before his focus shifted to the performing arts, as director, choreographer, performer, and designer of sets, costumes, make up, and lighting.

He was a student of the iconic Greek painter Yannis Tsarouchis before studying at the Athens School of Fine Arts.

He formed Edafos Dance Theatre, in 1986 as an initial vehicle for his original stage productions, hybrids of physical theatre, experimental dance, and performance art.
Originating in the underground scene, the company challenged perceptions and gained an expanding number of dedicated followers. MEDEA (1993) marked the company’s transition to big theatres and is considered its iconic work. The Edafos company spanned 17 years, to 2002, and set its indelible stamp on the arts scene in Greece.

Papaioannou became widely known in 2004, as the creator of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games.

Restarting in 2006, with his production ‘2’, he found himself in the odd position of creating avant-garde works in major theatres in Athens that enjoyed record-breaking long runs, with over 100.000 tickets sold.

In 2009, he began using this platform to create theatrical experiments on a large scale: NOWHERE (2009) for the inauguration of the renovated Greek National Theatre and INSIDE (2011) for the Pallas Theater.

In 2012, stripping down his work to bare essentials, he created PRIMAL MATTER for the Athens Festival, with him back on stage after a ten-year absence.

On the same quest for simplicity, he created STILL LIFE (2014), the first work that toured extensively in Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia.

In 2015, he created the Opening Ceremony for the Baku 2015 First European Games.

Papaioannou’s 25 productions range from mass spectacles with thousands of performers, to intimate pieces, and have appeared in a wide variety of venues, from his famous underground squat theater in Athens, to the ancient theatre in Epidaurus, and from Olympic stadiums to Théâtre de la Ville – Paris, and Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza.

In 2017, he created THE GREAT TAMER, his first international co-commissioned work with ten co-producers, including the Festival d’Avignon. THE GREAT TAMER toured for two and half years, through 4 continents, 23 countries and 38 cities. It was presented a total of 112 times, before over 90.000 spectators. The work was bestowed with the special award Europe Theatre Prize in Rome in 2017, and Papaioannou was nominated in 2019 for the Olivier award for “outstanding achievement in dance”.

In 2018, Dimitris has become the first artist to create a new, full-length work for Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. SINCE SHE premiered in May 2018 in Wuppertal (Germany) and was presented in Amsterdam, London, Athens, Paris, and Catanzaro.

In September 2020 he premiered INK, a duet performed by Šuka Horn and Dimitris Papaioannou at the Torinodanza Festival. His latest work TRANSVERSE ORIENTATION, originally scheduled to premiere at Onassis Stegi in Athens, due to the pandemic was first performed on 2 June 2021 at the Biennale de la Danse de Lyon in France and will tour to more than 30 cities.

Credits +

NOWHERE (2009) – Original Production

Conceived, Visualized + Directed by Dimitris Papaioannou
Music + Sound Design Coti K.
Artistic Associate Zafos Xagoraris
Lighting Design Alekos Yiannaros
Costume Design Thanos Papastergiou
Assistant Director – Artistic Producer + Coordinator Tina Papanikolaou

Performed by Prokopis Agathokleous, Thanassis Akokkalidis, Panos Athanasopoulos, Maria Bregianni, Ilia De Tchaves-Poga, Nikos Dragonas, Altin Huta, Yorgos Kafetzopoulos, Konstantinos Karvouniaris, Euripides Laskaridis, Konstantinos Maravelias, Yorghos Matskaris, Yiannis Michos, Christos Papadopoulos, Yiannis Papakammenos, Simos Patieridis, Aris Plaskassovitis, Ilias Rafailidis, Evangelia Randou, Kalliopi Simou, Diogenis Skaltsas, Tadeu Liesenfeld, Simeon Tsakiris, Sophia Tsiaousi, Manolis Theodorakis, Antonis Vais

Commissioned + Produced by the Greek National Theatre Athens, Greece, 2009 (Artistic Director Yannis Houvardas)

NOWHERE – Director’s Cut

Filmed + Edited by Dimitris Papaioannou
Additional filming by Kyriacos Karseras + Stelios Kamitsis
Editing Advisor Matt Johnson
Additional Sound Recording by Kostas Michopoulos
International Relations + Communication Manager Julian Mommert

Editing of the full performance video co-commissioned by New Vision Arts Festival (Hong Kong, China) + Dance Umbrella Festival (London, United Kingdom)

With the support of Teatro della Pergola – Firenze (Florence, Italy)

Produced by 2WORKS
Dimitris Papaioannou is supported by MEGARON – THE ATHENS CONCERT HALL

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