"World Cities" tag
Breanna O'Mara in Viktor.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Viktor – London

★★★★✰   It’s impossible to make coherent sense of a Bausch piece, whatever the source of her inspiration.

Julie Shanahan and Michael Strecker in Wiesenland. © Bettina Stob.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Wiesenland – London

‘We do not describe a city’, Bausch is quoted as saying. ‘We describe the feelings we have picked up there.’

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in Palermo Palermo.© Jochen Viehoff. (Click image for larger version)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Palermo Palermo – London

Pina Bausch’s particular brand of dance theatre owns many characteristics that are reiterated again and again throughout her work. The balance of these motifs changed over the years but the act of breaching the fourth wall is generally present.

Pablo Aran Gimeno in Água.© Oliver Look. (Click image for larger version)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Agua – London

Sometimes Água’s moving images are dizzyingly beautiful, undulating palm fronds echoing the women’s waving tresses; sometimes they seem reminders that civilisation is only skin deep; or that the untamed jungle is indifferent to human concerns.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in Nefes. © Zerrin Aydin Herwegh. (Click image for larger version)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Nefes – London

Pina Bausch and her designer, Peter Pabst, appear to have thrown in the Turkish towel when it came to the company’s evocation of Istanbul. Maybe they were overwhelmed by the overlay of cultures, past and present.

Julie Anne Stanzak in Ten Chi. © Maarten Vanden Abeele

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Ten Chi – London

Ten Chi is like a musical composition mostly in a minor key – an accumulation of moments and motifs without a strong sense of purpose. In fact, much of the recorded music seems half-heard in sleep. There’s a pervasive feeling of melancholy, of a culture beyond comprehension except in crass tourist terms.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Bamboo Blues – London

Once again, the performers of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch win over the audience with an apparently effortless ease…. Anna Wehsarg – a gorgeous statuesque redhead with legs that go on forever – can just walk on the stage, gazing into the audience and she has me captured.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Der Fensterputzer – London

Underpinning all of these familiar devices is the remarkable, intoxicating charisma of this extended family of performers, many of whom have been with the company for 30+ years. They continue to represent, with a comfortable faultless ease, Bausch’s unique cultural legacy…

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in ...como el musguito en la piedra, ay si, si, si... © Ursula Kaufmann. (Click image for larger version)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – …como el musguito en la piedra, ay si, si, si… – London

I have had some of the best dreams ever while wide awake and watching Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. The company conjures imagery that no conscious mind seems capable of assembling.

Anna Wehsarg, Pablo Aran Gimeno, Regina Advento in Nur Du. © Bettina Stob. (Click image for larger version)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Nur Du (Only You), part of World Cities 2012 – London

With every Bausch work some of the images and sketches stick in the mind and linger as the particular flavour of the piece, and these will vary for every audience member. For me, it was how tough it is being a woman in Nur Du.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Viktor, part of World Cities 2012 – London

…the 30-strong company, which has one of the widest ranges in dancer age I’ve seen, is sensational to watch… For these cameos, and others, I’m glad I caught up with Viktor, but once is enough for a good while.

DanceTabs © 2018 All Rights Reserved

© All here is copyright DanceTabs and the author concerned. Do not steal our words or pictures please. Thank you.