The choreographer Pina Bausch was an intensely serious exponent of the neo-expressionist form of German dance known as Tanztheater. She was known for works showing men and women engaged in endless, often violent, power struggles. She died June 30, 2009, at 68 in Wuppertal, Germany.
The 1984 United States debut of the Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal at the Brooklyn Academy of Music electrified audiences and spurred American dancers to audition for her. Her troupe returned to BAM in December 2008 with “Bamboo Blues,” a dreamscape that switched between episodes of sensual impulsiveness, catwalklike audience-awareness, scenes of harrowing need or anxiety and aspects of melancholia.
Referring to “Bamboo Blues,” the Times dance critic Alistair Macaulay wrote, “Perhaps the most interesting dichotomy lies between its presentation of the intensely social self (in which her characters’ artful awareness of an audience often makes them become bizarre or grotesque) and its images of the less affected but often more driven inner person.”
Ms. Bausch said of her own attitude toward dance-watching: ”I want to feel something, as a person. I don’t want to be bored.” Feeling, in fact, was paramount in Ms. Bausch’s work, and nowhere did she experiment with emotions more typically than in her penchant for repeating scenes and gestures. Over the years, her stagings included dancers splashing through pools of water and flip-flopping on mounds of dirt.
Ms. Bausch was the spiritual daughter of two mentors, Kurt Jooss, the German Expressionist choreographer, and Antony Tudor, the English-born choreographer whose dance-dramas at American Ballet Theater remain the models for psychological ballet.
Born in 1940 in Solingen, Germany, she studied in Essen at the famous Folkwang School, whose dance department spawned the Jooss Ballet. That company burst upon the international scene in 1932 with Jooss’s most famous work, ”The Green Table.” An anti-Nazi, Jooss left Germany in 1933, but he returned after World War II to head the Folkwang dance department again. Miss Bausch graduated from the school in 1959 and at the age of 18, became a special student at Juilliard in New York.
Mr. Tudor, who was her teacher there, recruited her for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. She also appeared with the American modern-dance troupe of Paul Sanasardo and Donya Feuer, and in the New American Ballet, which was actually made up of modern dancers like Donald McKayle and Paul Taylor. In 1962, Miss Bausch returned to West Germany to join Jooss’s new Essen Folkwang Ballet.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnUesmL-1CQ watch this amazing dance, feel this amazing dance!
Love you Pina Bausch, thank-you for opening the doors to a new dimension
Melika Emira Baccouche