Dimitris Papaioannou has death on his mind. The last image in The Great Tamer, which made its New York premiere at BAM, buries itself into your gut. As if it leaped off the canvas by a Dutch master and onto the Howard Gilman Opera House stage, a vanitas of an open book, scraps of an orange, and a human skull displays a stark message. Transience is truth; decay is inevitable.
But first comes life, which unfolds as an absurdist circus set to the ambient strains of Strauss’ “The Blue Danube.” Snippets swell throughout, yet they fade after just a few measures. The expectation of a rollicking waltz lifting you up and away from thoughts of the body’s ultimate failure will be frustrated.
The Great Tamer highlights characteristic . . .
THREE MINUTES TO READ
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Photo by Max Gordon