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  • In a second gesture of kindness to the modern Greek dance scene (following the short choreographies it commissioned from Greek choreographers in 1995), the Megaron (Athens Concert Hall) asked us to produce a full-length performance. Yorgos Koumendakis and I decided to play a different game this time: he would compose the music first, and I would then construct a play to accompany it. My solution to the puzzle was a stylised, film noir-inspired story of an old man in a room trapped in an endless loop of remembering his wife leaving him. Having watched Antonioni's La Notte over and over again, I tried to imbue the show with the black-and-white elegance of the film.

    The concept is as follows: an old man in a wheelchair opens the door of his room and slams it shut again. Visions of his young self and his wife appear in the room. The period of their first love, their first falling out, and the dead end that their relationship reaches are all performed. In order to be able to make love, they both conjure up fantasy figures - the man a Marilyn Monroe clone, and the woman an idealised athlete. As we move back and forth in the story, the atmosphere in the room becomes suffocating. The woman finally loses her patience, packs her suitcase, and walks out the door. The young man cannot bring himself to call her back. The old man, trapped in the middle of all these painful memories resurrected from his past, is unable to change a thing. The live action is stuck at the moment of her exiting the room: she is shown leaving over and over again, backwards and forwards, in slow motion and at speed, in a repetitive torture. Beyond the door the woman is liberated, running in the rain; inside the room the man is left old, crippled and helpless, with his Marilyn Monroe clone, now his personal nurse, humiliating him endlessly.

    Angeliki Stellatou's performance as the wife was really very classy. Looking back on the direction, structure and atmosphere of the play, I feel a sense of pride. But as a choreographer, I don' t like what I see. It would be worth revisiting the show to eliminate all the dancing and simplify all the gestures. Nevertheless, it proved to be an interesting and much-needed attempt to break away from the linear narrative form I was used to

    This show featured one of my most characteristic images: a bed set vertically on end, against which the lovers lean and hang, giving the audience the sense that they are viewing the scene from above. This idea was later reprised for a solo dance in FOR EVER (2001). Another element of this production I treasure is Lili Pezanou's brilliant design for the wheelchair.
Direction - Choreography: Dimitris Papaioannou
Music: Yorgos Koumendakis (new commission)
Set - Costume Design: Lili Pezanou
Lighting Design: Alekos Yiannaros
Make-up: Angelos Mendis
Assistant Director: Tina Papanikolaou
Performers: Nikos Dragonas, Dimitris Papaioannou, Katerina Papageorgiou, Angeliki Stellatou, Yiannis Yiaples