After performance talk with Lemi Ponifasio / ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE

After performance talk with Lemi Ponifasio

Lemi Ponifasio / MAU

8 November 2014
Main Stage
Lemi Ponifasio confronts us with the illusion of freedom in a constantly-controlled reality. He brings the primeval Crimson House to the OCC, from which the gods of Samoa watched over the earth…
A choreographic activist, the Polynesian Lemi Ponifasio enlists the power of his production’s wonderful, hypnotic images to raise the audience’s awareness of the problems facing humanity.

In the Crimson House, he poses questions about lives which omnipresent surveillance has transformed into a prison akin to Foucault’s Panopticon, and a society which, though shorn of every last vestige of privacy, since everything is observed and monitored, nonetheless neglects to turn its gaze on itself and its conscience.

Ponifasio links this phenomenon to the omnipresence of the divine in religious traditions and suggests that those who consider observation a route to absolute knowledge are guilty of hubris. Slow ritualistic movements, a minimalist aesthetic, song, distant music and echoes of the rites of a distant civilization create a poetic environment of rare beauty which entrances the viewer but also gives them space to think. A masterpiece from one of the planet’s most important artists.


Chaired by Katia Arfara, Artistic Director of the Theatre and Dance Department at the Onassis Cultural Centre.

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