Dimitris Papaioannou

Transverse Orientation

2022-05-24 19:30 2022-05-26 21:30 60 Canada/Eastern 🎟 NAC: Dimitris Papaioannou


In-person event

Athens-based Dimitris Papaioannou is a dreamscaper and a shapeshifter, a creator of intense imagination whose use of historical references with sleight of hand illusion result in environments of pure fantasy. Having gained early recognition as a painter and comic artist, he turned his focus to the performing arts and made an indelible stamp on the arts scene in Greece before becoming more widely known as the creator of the opening ceremonies for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games....

Read more

Babs Asper Theatre,1 Elgin Street,Ottawa,Canada
May 24 - 26, 2022

≈ 1 hour and 45 minutes · No intermission

Our programs have gone digital.

Scan the QR code at the venue's entrance to read the program notes before the show begins.

Last updated: May 24, 2022

Rich in imagery, layered with emotions, visually riveting and illusionistic, the creations of Dimitris Papaioannou have taken the international dance scene by storm. Hailed as a true pioneer of the art form, Papaioannou’s direction and choreography have explored both the beauty and darkness of humanity in captivating productions. NAC Dance is thrilled to present the North American exclusive premiere of his latest work, Transverse Orientation, reviewed as “…a collage of ingenious and arresting tableaux.” A piece that challenges us to find meaning on life’s journey while playing with our sensibilities, the work is engaging, demanding, and sometimes bewildering. Such is great art. 

We are so happy to welcome the company, our first international presentation in over two years! 


We would like to recognize the Algonquin Nation, on whose traditional unceded territory the National Arts Centre is located. We gratefully acknowledge them as the past, present and future stewards of this land.


“I believe I’m a choreographer of illusions”
Dimitris Papaioannou

Transverse Orientation, piece created for eight dancers and accompanied by the music of Antonio Vivaldi, was initially inspired by the notion of succession. The choreographer explored the hypothesis that the murder of the Minotaur by Theseus was a metaphor for the murder of the old by the young, this moment when the son takes the place of the father. This deep exploration led the choreographer in a new direction, towards the relationship with light. In the same way that insects orient themselves with the moon, Papaioannou imagined the men on stage navigating under the influence of a woman, like a planet approaching them, as if they were moved by the metamorphoses of this feminine presence. The result is a physical and visual work, highlighting the beauty and power of the human body. These sublime living tableaux interlace mythical figures and contemporary creatures creating their own choreography.

The presentation of Transverse Orientation is made possible with the support of the ONASSIS STEGI - Outward Turn Program.


Conceived – Visualized + Directed by
Dimitris Papaioannou

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

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

Set adaptation
Evangelos Xenodochidis

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 

Created to be premiered at

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


  • Choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou

NAC Dance team

Cathy Levy, Executive Producer  
Tina Legari, Associate Producer  
Mireille Nicholas, Special Projects Coordinator and Assistant to the Executive Producer 
Sophie Anka, Company Manager 

Siôned Watkins, Education Associate and Teaching Artist 
Brian Britton, Technical Director 
Julie Gunville, Communications Strategist  
Chatelaine Rindorindo, Marketing Strategist

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees