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.