Hong Kong Premiere
Renowned Greek director Dimitris Papaioannou to debut in Hong Kong
‘Without a doubt, a masterpiece’, Dagens Nyheter, Sweden
‘part dream, part nightmare, part riddle…that had the audience rapt from beginning to end.’, SeeingDance, UK
‘Papaioannou proposes a unique world, in which poetry predominates in all of its eerie beauty.’, Theaterkrant, The Netherlands
The stage is set on an incline and covered with removable charcoal grey plates that evoke the substrata of a cemetery or a geological site. The Greek artist and The Great Tamer’s creator, Dimitris Papaioannou, presents the tension between life and our demise. Trap doors are opened at will; the earth shifts and undulates. The bodies of the performers disappear into the bowels of the earth. An orgy of images emerges and recede in this black-and-white fable. Without beginning or end, this dreamlike creation awakens ancient and modern myths, conjuring masterpieces of visual art in an ode to the most powerful of creators: death. The chaos of the world has never been so poetic.
Moving within the framework of innovative choreography and stunning optical illusions, performers pause in tableaux, recalling sculptures and paintings of great masters, such as Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, Michelangelo’s David, and Rembrandt’s ‘Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp’. In these scenes, familiarity collides with the unknown and unexplored, allowing viewers to wrestle with their thoughts and emotions. Nudity is used to punctuate moments of gravity and absurdity, helping to evoke the full spectrum of life. In the midst of a successful international run, including at the famed Festival d’Avignon in the south of France, The Great Tamer features ten performers who seamlessly join to look into the deepest, darkest parts of the human soul.
14^-15 / 6 (Fri - Sat) 7:45pm
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$580, $460, $380, $280, $200*
* Some seats may have partly restricted view
^ with Post-performance Talk
(Conducted in English)
The running time of each performance is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes without intermission.
Audience is strongly advised to arrive punctually. Latecomers and audiences who leave their seats during the performance will only be admitted to their own seats at a suitable break.
Born in Athens in 1964, Dimitris Papaioannou gained early recognition as a painter and comic artist before shifting his focus to the performing arts. He is a 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. Papaioannou formed Edafos Dance Theatre in 1986 as an initial vehicle for his original stage productions, which are hybrids of physical theatre, experimental dance, and performance art. Originating in the underground scene, the company challenged perceptions and gained a growing number of dedicated followers. Medea (1993) marked the company’s transition to more prestigious theatres and is considered its iconic work. The Edafos company spanned seventeen years, closing in 2002, and left an indelible stamp on the Greek arts scene.
Papaioannou became widely known as the creator of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Refocusing on dance theatre in 2006, with his production 2, he found himself in the odd position of creating avant-garde works for major theatres in Athens, works that enjoyed record-breaking long runs with over 100,000 tickets sold during 2’s run. In 2009, he began using this platform to create theatrical experiments on a large scale, including Nowhere (2009) for the inauguration of the renovated National Theatre of Greece and Inside (2011) for the Pallas Theatre.
Stripping down his work to bare essentials, he created Primal Matter in 2012 for the Athens Festival and returned to the stage after a ten-year absence. On the same quest for simplicity, he crafted Still Life in 2014, the first work that toured extensively in Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia. In 2015, he created the opening ceremony for the 2015 European Games held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Papaioannou’s twenty-five productions have ranged from intimate pieces to mass spectacles with thousands of performers and have appeared in a wide variety of venues, from his famous underground squat theatre in Athens to the ancient theatre in Epidaurus, from Olympic stadiums to the Théâtre de la Ville–Paris and the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy.
In 2017, he created his first international co-commissioned work, The Great Tamer, with ten co-producers, including the Festival d’Avignon. In 2018, Papaioannou became the first artist to create a new, full-length work for Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: Since She (2018) premiered on 12 May 2018 in Germany.
Conceived, Visualized and Directed by Dimitris Papaioannou
Performer: Pavlina Andriopoulou, Costas Chrysafidis, Dimitris Kitsos, Ioannis Michos, Evangelia Randou, Kalliopi Simou, Drossos Skotis, Christos Strinopoulos, Yorgos Tsiantoulas, Alex Vangelis
Set Design and Art Direction in collaboration with Tina Tzoka
Artistic Collaborator for costumes Aggelos Mendis
Lighting Designed in collaboration with Evina Vassilakopoulou
Artistic Collaborator for Sound: Giwrgos Poulios
Sound Design: Kostas Michopoulos
Music: Johann Strauss II, An der schönen blauen Donau, Op. 314
Music Adaptation: Stephanos Droussiotis
Sculpture Design: Nectarios Dionysatos
Costume - Props Painting: Maria Ilia
Creative - Executive Producer and Assistant Director: Tina Papanikolaou
Assistant Director and Light Programmer: Stephanos Droussiotis
Assistant Director and Rehearsal Director: Pavlina Andriopoulou
Technical Director: Manolis Vitsaxakis
Stage Manager: Tzela Christopoulou
Stage Technician: David Blouin
Assistant Sound Engineer and operation: Nicholas Kazazis
Assistant to the Set Designer – Set Painter: Mary Antοnopoulou
Assistants to the Sculptor: Maria Papaioannou + Konstantinos Kotsis
Tour Manager and International Relations : Julian Mommert
Executive Production Assistant : Kali Kavvatha
Limited Time Discount: 20% off for each purchase of standard tickets from 22 March to 22 April.
Tickets available from 22 March onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet, by Mobile Ticketing App and Credit Card Telephone Booking.
Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients. (Limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).
Group Booking Discount: 10% off for each purchase of 4-9 standard tickets; 15% off for 10-19 standard tickets; 20% off for 20 or more standard tickets.
Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount offers for each purchase. Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.
Internet Booking www.urbtix.hk
Credit Card Telephone Booking 2111 5999
Ticketing Enquiries 3761 6661
Programme Enquiries 2268 7323
Recommended for ages 16 and above
The programme contains loud noise and nudity scenes.
The programme does not represent the views of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
The presenter reserves the right to change the programme and substitute artists.