EMPAC to Host a Free Dance-Theatre Event by Greek artist Dimitris Papaioannou Dec. 8

The video above: DIMITRIS PAPAIOANNOU, extracts from works created over the last ten years / www.dimitrispapaioannou.com from Dimitris Papaioannou on Vimeo.

Troy, NY — The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute announces Primal Matter, a free dance-theater performance by Greek artist Dimitris Papaioannou. The event will take place in Studio 2 on Saturday, December 8 at 8 PM. (Ed. Note: This performance includes male nudity, as captured in the performance video above.)


As Greece experiences a severe economic and social crisis, and Europe and the United States undergo detrimental shrinking of national arts funding, Dimitris Papaioannou embarks on an artistic and personal challenge: a project using the least possible means—an experiment investigating personal and national identity.


Primal Matter is an optical illusion created by two isolated bodies on stage, which are used as the starting point in this exploratory journey of balancing our physical existence (body) with our second nature (soul), at a time when the issue of paramount concern is, ultimately, what is indispensable—what constitutes the essence.

Striking images are the hallmark of choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou whose work over the past decade is simply breathtaking. This image is from Medea (2008) and can also be viewed in the stunning half hour long video embedded above. Of course, even the best video can only capture dance in two dimensions, you have to see a performance to get the full impact.

Primal Matter was originally commissioned by the Athens Festival, Greece, and was further developed during an EMPAC artist-in-residence program.


Dimitris Papaioannou’s groundbreaking creative direction of the Athens 2004 opening ceremony— hailed a “triumph” by Time Magazine and The Times of London—is widely considered a high-water mark of large-scale spectacle.


Born in Athens, Greece, in 1964, Papaioannou is co-founder of the award-winning Edafos Dance Theatre (1986–2002), where he conceived, directed, and choreographed all of the company’s productions. In 2005, he was awarded the Golden Cross of the Order of Honour for outstanding artistic achievement by the president of the Hellenic Republic.


Papaioannou spent spring 2010 as a Fulbright scholar, mentored by Laurie Anderson at The Kitchen in New York City.


This event is free and open to the public. Seating is extremely limited.


Evelyn’s Café will open at 7 PM with a full menu of meals, snacks, and beverages as well as a selection of wines. Service continues after the performance. Parking is available in the Rensselaer parking lot on College Avenue.


More information can be found on the EMPAC website: empac.rpi.edu. Questions? Call the EMPAC Box Office: 518.276.3921.


The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), founded by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is an international hub for art, performance, science, and technology — offering adventurous interdisciplinary public events, support for artists and scholars engaged in creative research, and the resources of a state-of-the art facility for digital media production, research, and performance situated on a college campus.

2 thoughts on “EMPAC to Host a Free Dance-Theatre Event by Greek artist Dimitris Papaioannou Dec. 8

  1. An amazing choreorapher !
    I was lucky to have watched 3 performances on stage in Athens, ‘2’, ‘Medea’ and ‘Nowhere’.
    I had always left the theater speechless …
    An experiene, out of this world !

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