Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pina Bausch season wrap-up

It's taken me a long time to write that post. The World Cities 2012 season of ten Pina Bausch works ended back in July, but hey, there's always time to talk about Pina Bausch right?

So it was, let's face it, an incredible privilege to see so many works by one choreographer in such a short period of time. I had only seen four works by Pina Bausch live before then, and my total has suddenly more than tripled in five weeks.

It was not all positive though. I can't deny that Pina fatigue kicked in a little bit in the middle. Formulas became apparent, some images seemed a little bit cliched, and it was hard to work out which piece the solo you remembered was from, as they were all so similar. Thankfully Palermo Palermo (penultimate piece in the series) kickstarted the love back.

But, here is what I have learnt:

- Try and sit on the front row, as audiences at the front of the auditorium often have to get involved in the show (a man got his glasses cleaned, another was offered a banana, a dancer counted the fingers on the hands of all the front row, bread tartines were served etc...)
- Long evening dresses are to Pina Bausch what unitards are for Merce Cunningham. Maybe not as practical, but for the purpose of her dances, they work.
- Pina Bausch dancers can, well, dance - something lost when you only see the more theatrical productions
- When things start to get repeated, and it feels like a coda of the beginning choreography, you know it's nearly the end of piece
- She can make you laugh and cry within two minutes
- British audiences laugh at odd moments, sometimes the most sad and tragic ones

Another thought: can someone please teach contemporary dance classes where we learn famous routines? I would love to learn some Pina Bausch steps, you know, the same way some hip hop classes teach you the moves to a particular video or some classic Michael Jackson steps. I would particularly like to learn the clapping routine from Der Fensterputzer and one of the girl's Bamboo Blues's solo.