What to see at London’s Sadler’s Wells: INK by Dimitris Papaioannou

Stage dance INK

Buckle up for an extraordinary visual journey as Greek director, choreographer, and visual artist Dimitris Papaioannou makes a triumphant return to Sadler’s Wells Theatre. From Wednesday 28 February to Saturday 2 March 2024, be prepared to be mesmerised by the UK premiere of INK. Following the immense success of his sold-out and Olivier-nominated productions, The Great Tamer and Transverse Orientation, Papaioannou once again pushes the boundaries of hyper-visual dance theatre in this captivating new production.

Papaioannou is renowned for his mastery in creating breathtaking visual spectacles, and INK is no exception. Set in an enigmatic water world, this spellbinding performance transforms a duet into a duel, driven by mythical primal forces. It’s a gripping battle between old and young, father and son, civilization and wasteland, stewardship and inheritance, and even eroticism and torture. Joining Papaioannou on stage is the talented dancer and collaborator Šuka Horn. With science fiction and horror as its filters, INK will immerse you in a world filled with hundreds of liters of water, a golden wheat field, and even an octopus.

In 2018, Papaioannou became the first choreographer to create a new evening-length work for Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch since the legendary Pina Bausch’s passing in 2009. He also gained international acclaim for conceiving and directing the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Rooted in painting and visual art, Papaioannou’s productions blur the lines between theatre, experimental choreography, and live performance.

Expressing his excitement about INK’s UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells, Dimitris Papaioannou said, “I’m thrilled to return to Sadler’s Wells for the fourth time. INK is a deeply personal work that was initially conceived as a visual and sound installation but evolved into a full show. It serves as an unexpected sequel to Primal Matter, my debut in London back in 2016, and it brings me back on stage for one last time.”

Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells, shared his enthusiasm, saying, “We have a proud history of collaborating with Dimitris Papaioannou at Sadler’s Wells. After his debut performance with The Great Tamer in 2017, Dimitris became the first guest choreographer to create new work for Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch with Since She in 2019. He then returned with Transverse Orientation in 2022. We are delighted to continue our relationship by co-producing this magnificent production of INK.”

INK is brought to life by Dimitris Papaioannou, with enchanting music by Kornilios Selamsis, mesmerizing sound design by David Blouin, and captivating lighting design by Lucien Laborderie and Stephanos Droussiotis.

Please be advised that no animals were harmed in the creation of this performance, and it contains full nudity and scenes of a disturbing nature.

Co-produced by Sadler’s Wells, the first version of INK was commissioned and co-produced by Torinodanza Festival, Teatro Stabile di Torino – Teatro Nazionale + Fondazione, and Teatri and Festival Aperto – Reggio Emilia in 2020. The final version of the work and its international tour are 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.

Don’t miss the chance to engage with Dimitris Papaioannou and Alistair Spalding in a BSL Interpreted Post Show Talk on Friday 1 March. And mark your calendars for the press night on Wednesday 28 February at 7:30 pm. This is an experience you won’t want to miss!

Source: Sadler’s Wells Theatre