Papaioannou first established an international reputation when he created the epic opening ceremony for the 2004 Athens Olympics. A director, choreographer, performer and visual artist, he has reached far beyond traditional art forms, taking storytelling to a new level. Papaioannou directed the Emmy Award winning Baku 2015 European Games Opening Ceremony.
Inspired by the words of Homer and the work of the old masters, from El Greco to Rembrandt, Papaioannou builds macabre still lifes, dreamlike images and nightmarish creations with ten performers, his magical stagecraft and the shifting floor. Papaioannou's return to Dance Umbrella, following Primal Matter in 2016, marks his first work to be performed at Sadler's Wells. Contains nudity.