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      INK (2020) a new project by DIMITRIS PAPAIOANNOU
  • a silent dialogue of challenge, but also of communion, of anger, but also of solidarity

    "INK raises questions and curiosities that reappear days after seeing the performance. A pleasant sensation, which confirms the poetic value of an artist who has something to say and knows how to say it."

    Silvia Poletti,, 5 October 2020
    original article

    The ink lagoon monster

    “It has the flavor of an allegory, it seems to originate from a nocturnal nightmare, it feeds on layers of meaning that come from numerous places - from mythology to science fiction, from alchemy to philosophy -, it is innervated with sensuality and eroticism, it is the son of loneliness of the contemporary age, accompanies us in the acceptance of the loss and defeat of our days. INK by Dimitris Papaioannou is all this, and certainly much more"

    Stefano Casi,, 4 September 2020
    original article

    The fight of Dimitris Papaioannou under an incessant rain

    "Greek artist Dimitris Papaioannou, creator of a scenic language that interlaces the body with the visual art, forging a personal contemporary mythology."

    His are choreographic installations, corporeal, dense material, tableaux vivants that are animated by visions, metaphors, an imaginative power arising from a creative thought, nourished by plastic and figurative arts, history and literature, and that manual skill of Arte Povera raised to pure poetry."

    "Are we in a dark room - an auditorium, a nuclear shelter, a space of the mind? - with transparent cellophane walls, and with the stage flooded with water."

    "To be evoked in this visionary performance, which the 57-year-old Greek artist created together with the young Šuka Horn, are the monsters of the mind, the invisible presences, the memories of time and beyond, the call of ancestral figures, the oblivion of conscience, the conflict with oneself."

    Giuseppe Distefano, ARTRIBUNE, 3 October 2020
    orignal article

    underline (…) the cosmogonic character of this work, which began as an installation but then became something more. Definitely something more.

    "It was a tradition of many fishermen, once they went ashore, to bite octopuses between the eyes to kill them and then throw them on the rocks, violently. Which - among other things - would make the meat of those cephalopods more tender and ready to be eaten even raw.

    This ancient gesture concluded INK, the new work - cryptic and imaginative - by Dimitris Papaioannou, superstar of contemporary dance"

    "(…) the show focuses on water, omnipresent from the beginning to the end of its 45 minutes, unleashing a rich spectrum of suggestions to the spectator: water as a primal element; water as the origin of the cosmos for the Greek myth (the meeting between two gods, Ocean and Thetis, and the consequent birth of rivers and currents); water as the cause of the universe in ancient philosophy (the “arché” of Thales); water as a purification tool with magical and / or sacral values ​​and so on"

    "Sour and intense, as if there was a bond between the two that at the same time attracts and distances. As between a father and an unknown son or between his own consciousness and the dark side of each."

    Paolo Bogo, La Guida, 2 October 2020
    original article

    Back to the theatre: Dimitris Papaioannou's ‘INK’

    Dimitris Papaioannou is today the most powerful creator of a scenic language that interweaves the body with visual art. Man becomes the object of the representation of the artist’s idea, and at the same time the subject of plastic and pictorial forms that draw movements of deep theatrical and forge a personal contemporary mythology.

    Giordana Patumi, Dance Art Journal, 30 September 2020
    original review

    Papaioannou’s theater, a contemporary mythology

    a visual theater, of pictorial quotations, of plastic forms, of intense physical relationships that bring the human body to the limit of possibilities

    Renato Verga, L'opera in casa, 24 September 2020
    original review

    A concentrate of the poetics of Dimitris Papaioannou

    A concentrate of Dimitris Papaioannou poetics, the show INK presented in a world premiere at the Carignano for Torinodanza Festival, co-produced by the Turin festival and by Festival Aperto Reggio Emilia. There is Arte Povera of Kounellis in the nylon walls that wrap the three sides of the scene, planks, and transparent plastic panels. Then there is the vital element water that flows from an irrigation system and paints moving images on the scene. Finally, the myth personified here in the clash between the old and the young, Kronos and his progeny, civilization, and the savage world. Papaioannou himself, dressed, fighting his antagonist, the young Šuka Horn totally naked.

    INK comes after the worldwide success of “The Great Tamer” seen in Torinodanza which has toured all continents. In reality, a new great fresco was expected like the ones we are used to by the Greek artist: "The Great Tamer" that is time and "Seit Sie" created for the company of Pina Bausch. The lockdown blocked the project (it will debut on 16 December 2020 in Athens) and in the days of seclusion, an installation idea developed in this theatrical work. In a black and gray atmosphere, like an expressionist film, demonic like Caliban, angelic like Ariel, the wild being emerges among plastic panels, with a perfect physique like a Greek kouros. A struggle begins to tame it. Dimitris wraps him in plastic, ties him with a belt, puts him on the ground. A complex relationship develops: who is the young man? Our animal side, the irrational, what we deny about ourselves and do not want to see?

    Meanwhile, an octopus emerges from the marshy ground which will later become a newborn, and again, grown-up and ape-like, the young man himself. Simple elements complete that show. A silver disco ball that reflects the lights in the stalls, Vivaldi's music alongside 1930s tunes (yes Bausch) that resound from an old vinyl

    Sergio Trombetta, LA STAMPA, 25 September 2020
    original review

    darkness and fantasy, surrealistic and magnetic

    The dimension of darkness and fantasy, surrealist and magnetic; water as a raw, ancestral, fundamental element, as an essential source of life; the presence of two male bodies, two generations, a father and a son and, between them, a relationship of encounter/clash, of conciliation and dissension, of submission and desire. And then, the movement, the music, the lines, the noises that become melodies in the connections with new, different meanings. Here are some of the sensory, visual, and conceptual elements of INK, the latest creation by Dimitris Papaioannou

    It is a world on whose soaked ground, paternity, and inheritance are intertwined in an essential dialectic: a hostile relationship that becomes tolerance, coexistence, and even play and discovery (around the physical potential of water). It becomes a parental instinct (of a father trying to breastfeed a newborn) and a veiled filial mockery (of a casual scion half-hidden in a symbolic cornfield).

    The metamorphosis of the encounter, of sharing, of succession, is inevitably contrast, discord, reunion. An archetype that becomes a classic myth and a contemporary witness of humanity, and which is combined in its constant becoming, with the musical language of Vivaldi (and not only), with pictorial and statuary references, images of horror cinema, poetry by Arsenij Tarkovskij, think of the “First Encounters”, where «In the crystal the rivers pulsed / the mountains fumigated, the seas shone / while asleep on the throne / you held the crystal ball in your hand / and" My God! "You were mine". That crystal ball Papaioannou fills it with water and light, empties it, doubles it in a second mirrored ball, while making itself the subject of the dispute in a place in which an artistic instinct materializes in a mental, cerebral form, even before an emotional one. And the dance mixes with the movement of an athletic body, stressed, oppressed and liberated: it allows it, to the surprise of the observer, to stretch itself in resistance more than in melody, in effort more than delicacy, in impact rather than sinuosity."

    "In this dark world - cut by glimpses of lights and reflections - the elegance of the adult and composed, the weighted man played by Papaioannou collides with the "newborn", energetic and animalistic nudity and prowess of Horn. The result is a struggle between a modern Uranus and a son, an attempt at dominance and union

    Nicole Jallin, Cahiers des Arts, 24 Sep 2020
    original review

    Eroticism and horror, Papaioannou returns to Torinodanza under a shower of water

    Simona Antonucci, Il Messaggero, 23 September 2020
    original review

    A dense, fascinating, powerful work

    "the viewer's eye is amazed, lost, excited, and perceives being in the presence of a language that knows how to fish in the myth and to give us back the eternal in the here and now of two bodies that dance."

    Nicola Arrigoni, La Provincia di Cremona, 8 October 2020
    original review


INK (2020)

play for two

created (concept, direction, sets, costumes, lights) by Dimitris Papaioannou

dressed man Dimitris Papaioannou*
nude man Šuka Horn

music Kornilios Selamsis
sound design David Blouin
lighting design Lucien Laborderie, Stephanos Droussiotis
creative - executive producer - assistant director Tina Papanikolaou
associate director Haris Fragoulis
performers’ physical training Šuka Horn
photographs + cinematography Julian Mommert
music recorded by Teodor Currentzis and musicAeterna orchestra
the name of the play was given by Aggelos Mendis
the octopuses were created by Nectarios Dionysatos
visual design associate Evangelos Xenodochidis

international relations – communications manager – tour programmer Julian Mommert
technical director Manolis Vitsaxakis
stage manager – sound engineer David Blouin
props master – stage manager Tzela Christopoulou
lighting programmer Lucien Laborderie
stage technician – rigger Aggelos Katsolias

executive production 2WORKS in collaboration with POLYPLANITY PRODUCTIONS
executive production associate Vicky Strataki
executive production assistant Kali Kavvatha

the first version of INK was commissioned and co-produced by Torinodanza Festival / Teatro Stabile di Torino Teatro Nazionale + Fondazione I Teatri / Festival Aperto – Reggio Emilia in 2020

the final version of the work and the international tour is co-produced by Biennale de la Danse de Lyon 2023, Sadler’s Wells London, MEGARON – THE ATHENS CONCERT HALL and supported by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports in 2023

Dimitris Papaioannou is Artist in Residence at MEGARON – THE ATHENS CONCERT HALL

We especially thank Teodor Currentzis for conducting the music of INK and offering it to us as a gift. Special thanks to Dimitris Korres for his continuous and genius technical support.

*During performances from January–July 2023, Dimitris Papaioannou shared the leading role with Haris Fragoulis.


2020 CREDITS [first version of INK]

Created by: Dimitris Papaioannou

With Šuka Horn + Dimitris Papaioannou

Set + Costume Design Dimitris Papaioannou
Lighting Design Stephanos Droussiotis + Dimitris Papaioannou
Sound Design David Blouin
Music Gustav Mahler, Antonio Vivaldi, Donald Novis, Isham Jones, Leo Rapitis, Sofia Vempo, İsmail Kaçan Düğün
Creative - Executive Producer + Assistant Director Tina Papanikolaou
Assistant Director  Stephanos Droussiotis

Technical Director  Manolis Vitsaxakis
Tour Manager – International Relations – Photo – Video  Julian Mommert
Special Props  Nectarios Dionysatos 
Rehearsal Assistants  Michalis Theophanous, Kalliopi Simou, Drossos Skotis
Executive Production Assistant  Kali Kavvatha
Production Assistant  Tzela Christopoulou
Technical Support  Evgenios Anastopoulos, Miltos Athanasiou, Marios Karaolis, Kostas Kakkoulidis
Plastic background made by  Natalia Fragkathoula, Marilena Kalaitzantonaki, Konstantinos Kotsis, Timothy Laskaratos
Baby sculpture made by  Joanna Bobrzynska-Gomes

Produced by: 2WORKS
Commissioned and co-produced by: Torinodanza Festival / Teatro Stabile di Torino – Teatro Nazionale + Fondazione I Teatri / Festival Aperto – Reggio Emilia
Tour co-produced by the Biennale de la danse de Lyon 2023, Sadler's Wells LondonMEGARON – THE ATHENS CONCERT HALL
Funded by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports

Special thanks Euripides Laskaridis, Aggelos Mentis, Stylianos Thomadakis

Duration: 1 hour 
When and where: