Dimitris Papaioannou (Greece) Transverse Orientation

Conceived – Visualized + Directed by Dimitris Papaioannou

With Damiano Ottavio Bigi, Šuka Horn, Jan Möllmer, Breanna O’Mara, Tina Papanikolaou, Łukasz Przytarski, Christos Strinopoulos, Michalis Theophanous

Music Antonio Vivaldi

Set Design Tina Tzoka & Loukas Bakas

Sound Composition + Design Coti K. 

Costume Design Aggelos Mendis

Collaborative Lighting Designer Stephanos Droussiotis

Music Supervisor Stephanos Droussiotis

Sculptures + Special Constructions – Props Nectarios Dionysatos  

Mechanical Inventions Dimitris Korres 

Creative – Executive Producer + Assistant Director Tina Papanikolaou

Assistant Directors + Rehearsal Directors Pavlina Andriopoulou & Drossos Skotis

Assistant to the Set Designers Tzela Christopoulou

Assistant to the Sound Composer Martha Kapazoglou

Assistant to the Costume Designer Aella Tsilikopoulou

Special Constructions – Props Assistant Eva Tsambasi

Photography + Cinematography Julian Mommert

Technical Director Manolis Vitsaxakis

Assistant to the Technical Director Marios Karaolis

Stage Manager – Sound Engineer + Props Constructions David Blouin  

Props Master Tzela Christopoulou

Lighting Programmer Stephanos Droussiotis

Costumes Construction Litsa Moumouri, Efi Karantasiou, Islam Kazi

Stage Technicians Kostas Kakoulidis, Evgenios Anastopoulos, Panos Koutsoumanis

Lighting Constructions Miltos Athanasiou

Silicone Baby made by Joanna Bobrzynska-Gomes

Props Team Natalia Fragkathoula, Marilena Kalaitzantonaki, Timothy Laskaratos, Anastasis Meletis, Antonis Vassilakis

Executive Production 2WORKS in collaboration with POLYPLANITY Productions 

Executive Production Associate Vicky Strataki

Executive Production Assistant Kali Kavvatha

Props Production Manager Pavlina Andriopoulou

International Relations + Communications Manager Julian Mommert

A production of ONASSIS STEGI 

Created to be premiered at ONASSIS STEGI (2021)

Co-Produced by Festival d’Avignon, Biennale de la danse de Lyon 2021, Dance Umbrella / Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Fondazione Campania dei Festival – Napoli Teatro Festival Italia, Grec Festival de Barcelona, Holland Festival – Amsterdam, Luminato (Toronto) / TO Live, New Vision Arts Festival (Hong Kong), Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, Saitama Arts Theatre / ROHM Theatre Kyoto, Stanford Live / Stanford University, Teatro Municipal do Porto, Théâtre de la Ville – Paris / Théatre du Châtelet, UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance

With the support of Festival Aperto (Reggio Emilia), Festival de Otoño de la Comunidad de Madrid, HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts, National Arts Centre (Ottawa), New Baltic Dance Festival, ONE DANCE WEEK Festival, P.P. Culture Enterprises Ltd, TANEC PRAHA International Dance Festival, Teatro della Pergola – Firenze, Torinodanza Festival / Teatro Stabile di Torino – Teatro Nazionale

Funded by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports

Dimitris Papaioannou’s work is supported by MEGARON – THE ATHENS CONCERT HALL


“Like all of Papaioannou’s pieces, it’s a meticulously crafted, intensely visual experience.”

“a long act of artistic magic created before our eyes by the superbly precise performers”

– Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times, 8 June 2021

“It is not every day that we have the feeling that we are dealing with a master, in sublime paintings of Madonna or in Greek male statuary revisited.”

– Luc Hernandez, Exit Mag, 3 June 2021

“Papaioannou assembles and dismantles an empire where all the senses collide, where philosophical discourse questions the very essence of being. 

“Papaioannou conjures up intimate metaphors, distressing and at the same time dazzling with beauty. “

– Odile Morain, France Info Culture, 5 June 2021

“What do you expect from a dance performance?  That it leaves traces in our bodies and our memories, that it delves into us without us realizing it, that it lets us see, experience, imagine, recompose.  May it make us cry too.  This is all that Dimitris Papaioannou offers to us with Transverse Orientation his latest creation, a pure masterpiece presented as a world premiere at the Biennale de la danse in Lyon.”

“Carried by eight magnificent performers, enveloped in the music of Vivaldi, Transverse Orientation is an abundance of images whose formidable aesthetics question the meaning of our lives or simply challenge our emotions, leaving us the choice to imagine and create our intimate shocks. It is all the strength of this work which, behind the apparent chaos, lets in the luminous bursts of a rebirth!”

– Martine Pillars, Toute la culture, 3 June 2021

“Dimitris Papaioannou grabs the bull by the horns. He creates a stir by presenting his latest creation at the La Biennale de Lyon / Danse: Transverse Orientation. A jewel of inventiveness and beauty.”

– Al. M.,  Le Progress, 3 June 2021

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.

INK (2021), a duet created during lockdown, will be presented at the 75th Festival d’Avignon during the summer of 2021.

Originally scheduled to premiere at Onassis Stegi in Athens, due to the pandemic TRANSVERSE ORIENTATION (2021) 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.


After the performance please join us at the discussion with Dimitris Papaioannou


Mar 26 2022


17:00 - 18:45