The city becomes part of the skyscape, with just a few white clouds against the light blue background. Standing on a balcony in silence, a man and a woman gaze into the distance. Later on the light and view change and a man sitting on a bed slowly starts taking off his shoes, as the curtain comes down.
During the six-hour production of the much-awaited ?Mesa? (Inside), developed by Dimitris Papaioannou and which premieres at the Pallas Theater on April 13, the curtain will be raised throughout. Scenes will be repeated on stage, but not at the same time every day, while members of the audience will come and go as they please, and even change their seats each time.
?Man alone in his nest. This was our main ingredient in order to compose a universe,? said Papaioannou during a recent press conference. Sitting cross-legged on the stage, the choreographer was surrounded by his 30-member cast as well as the rest of the production?s crew. Besides asking a multitude of questions, the journalists present had the chance to watch excerpts from Papaioannou?s new project.
?We?re interested in what each member of the audience will see,? he said in an attempt to explain the production?s conceptual process, while ?society, nature and intention? were a few of the terms he used to describe his deeper thinking.
?A place of serenity, a place of Zen. A sweet admission about the definition of human beings, about who man is,? said Papaioannou. ?Usually we tend to stress our differences. With ?Mesa? we wanted to remind ourselves that we are all the same, sharing the same common secrets. We wanted to think about this and experience it.?
The choreographer also spoke about various technical details that define his works, such as the use of slow motion. ?This time round the stage action is calm and sparse, we stand still before moving, but we don?t go into slow motion.?
He also spoke about a process of ?inner cleansing? following the 2004 Athens Olympics, for which he was in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies.
?My desire for what I want to do has been transformed. I started thinking about what theater means to me, the way in which I wanted the action to unfold on stage,? he said as he described his creative steps following the Games. As for ?Inside,? the idea was tied to the theater?s shifting definition.
?To date there has been no possibility for a theater to stay open for many hours nonstop. In fact, ?Inside? could have been never-ending, at least for last for a whole day. We felt that six hours were enough, though. The viewer can come, go out for a coffee, come back and if he feels like it spend the night.?
Pallas Theater, 5 Voukourestiou, tel 210.321.3100. Audiences may attend performances for as long as they want between 5.30 and 11.30 p.m. Tickets cost 32 euros for a free pass for an entire performance, 15 euros to enter the theater either before 5.30 p.m. or after 10.30 pm., and 45 euros to watch the performance any day and time. For more information, visit www.mesaproject.gr.