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Dance Umbrella presents Dimitris Papaioannou Transverse Orientation

Co-commissioned by Dance Umbrella and Sadler’s Wells

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A naked male dancer with a fake black bull against an orange background

Three years after his sold-out debut at Sadler’s Wells with the Olivier-nominated The Great Tamer, Dimitris Papaioannou summons an entirely distinctive universe once more for his latest work Transverse Orientation, co-commissioned by Dance Umbrella and Sadler’s Wells.

A true master of visual spectacle, the Greek artist explores existential themes, mining mythology and art history to conjure vivid and often humorous imagery. Taking inspiration from the natural behaviour of moths to seek light, Transverse Orientation follows the human compulsion to find meaning on the journey of life.

With a background in fine arts, Papaioannou’s creations blur theatre, experimental choreography and live performance to transform bodies and objects by illusion. Coming to international prominence following his direction of the 2004 Olympic ceremonies in Athens, his work has been seen by audiences across the world.


Image description: Against a deep orange background, the head of a black bull with curved horns pushes forward from the left. A naked male dancer seems part of the silhouette of the animal, his face pressed to its jaw, his body arching back as he presses against the flank, his pale skin gleaming silver.

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

The New York Times

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