Pina Bausch

Wim Wenders’ magnificent Pina began as a 3-D collaboration with the German dancer-choreographer and her troupe.  It was completed after Wenders and her dancers, some of whom had been with her for 30 years, came to grips with their shock and grief over her sudden death, 5 days after she learned she was ill.

You won’t find a better evocation of her work than this, by Wenders:

No, there was no hurricane that swept across the stage,
there were just … people performing
who moved differently then I knew
and who moved me as I had never been moved before.
After only a few moments I had a lump in my throat,
and after a few minutes of unbelieving amazement
I simply let go of my feelings
and cried unrestrainedly.
This had never happened to me before…
maybe in life, sometimes in the cinema,
but not when watching a rehearsed production,
let alone choreography.
This was not theatre, nor pantomime,
nor ballet and not at all opera.
Pina is, as you know,
the creator of a new art.
Dance theatre.
Until now movement as such has never touched me.
I always regarded it as a given.
One just moves. Everything moves.
Only through Pina’s Tanztheater have I learned to value
movements, gestures, attitudes, behaviour, body language,
and through her work learned to respect them.
And anew every time when, over the years I saw Pina’s pieces,
many times and again,
did I relearn, often like being struck by thunder,
that the simplest and most obvious is the most moving at all:
What treasure lies within our bodies, to be able to express itself without words,
and how many stories can be told without saying a single sentence.

[Speaking at the ceremony of the 2008 Goethe Prize of the city of Frankfurt am
Main to Pina Bausch (excerpt)]

Wender’s Pina is now a retrospective, a portrait, and an evocation of her power, her wit, her soulfulness and the breadth of her reach.  And right close to the end of the huge list of those who worked on it. there’s this credit:

               Dancers over 14. . . (roughly 50 or so names)

Dancers over 65. . . (at least half that many names)

Cannot tell you how encouraging that is.

This entry was posted in SB posts and tagged , , by Sheila Benson. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sheila Benson

Growing up in a movie-centric household, with an abiding interest in ballet and a background in Theatre Arts at UCLA, somehow I found myself drawn to writing about films. At first on a small Mill Valley weekly, then at a slightly bigger paper, as the Los Angeles Times Film Critic (1981-1991.) Now, after 3 decades with the right husband, I read, write, sometimes cook, miss my kids, sound off about politics and watch movies as obsessively as ever.

4 thoughts on “Pina Bausch

  1. I cannot WAIT to see this movie… for all the reasons you and Wenders so eloquently express,as hard as it is to describe what’s virtually indescribable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s