In a World Gone Crazy, We Need Pina Bausch More Than Ever
Pina Bausch, the late German choreographer, knew how to deal with the weight of the world.
All the sorrows, frustrations, fears, as well as joys and laughable ironies, of moments big and small are encoded into her dance-theater work. Bausch died in 2009, but her company, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, is dancing on: They recently returned to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City, and their timing is perfect.
We need the power of human emotion while the world spins out of control!
Pina Bausch’s work can be dark, but not all the time. It’s party time in her “Masurca Fogo,” (above) inspired by travel in Portugal and Brazil. Here, dancer Julie Shanahan wears a dress of balloons. The work also several performers in bathtubs, bathing in real water and pretty much having a blast. BAM Next Wave Festival, 2001.
Apples And Oranges
Named after a Cuban dance, “Danzón” (1995), shows Bausch’s philosophy of movement as a way of life in what seems like unrelated vignettes. Here, women eat fruit with a gesture of sensual attack. BAM Next Wave Festival, 1999.
Man In Tutu
Gender roles are fairly clear cut in Bausch’s work. But this moment in “Palermo, Palermo” (1989) mixes things up, Here, dancer Dominique Mercy sinks to the floor in an unzipped tutu. BAM Next Wave Festival, 1991.
A Full Moon
Everybody Wants A Piece Of Me
Three empowered women in “Danzón” (1995) become queens in chairs as the men dive bomb at their feet. BAM Next Wave Festival, 1999.
East Meets West
In “Palermo, Palermo” (1989), Bausch examines the decay of a post-War World II Sicily. Here, women balance apples on their heads during BAM’s Next Wave Festival, 1991.
Barefoot And Folkdancing
Here, the women in “Palermo, Palermo” (1989) perform a barefoot regional dance. Behind them is a toppled cinder block wall, perhaps alluding to the destruction of the Berlin Wall. BAM Next Wave Festival, 1991.
The Master Herself
Bausch’s solo in “Danzón” shows that the choreographer was constantly asking questions. The answers came to her in movement.
Here, we catch a glimpse of one of her signature fashion items: wide-legged black pants. BAM Next Wave Festival, 1999.