Friday, July 3, 2009

Remembering Pina Bausch

My first experience with Pina Bausch was through a German Dance festival in Chicago in the early 1980’s. I didn’t see her work performed live, but at the encouragement of my modern dance teacher, watched a film called “On Tour with Pina Bausch”. The film changed my perspective of dance forever.

Until that point, I had only known dance as pure movement and only considered it from a technical standpoint. Bausch innovatively stretched the limits of dance technique and movement, but in a compelling theatrical way. Somehow she found a way to use the abstraction of dance vocabulary to tell concrete and powerful stories. And not only did Bausch influence countless choreographers, but she did so from a home base of the industrial Ruhrgebiet---a region comparable to Gary, Indiana in the U.S.

Her influences will no doubt be felt for years to come.

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