Pina Bausch, dancer and choreographerDance that's beautiful, passionate, sad, funny, poignant, powerful, haunting, puzzling, astonishing and dirty (yes, there's real soil involved—and real water too)—and in 3-D!
One problem with dance performances, in my view, is that once they're over, they're over—you seldom get to see them again—and when the performances are as beautiful, passionate, sad, funny, poignant, powerful, haunting, puzzling, astonishing and dirty (yes, there's real soil involved—and real water too) as those of the ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, this could be a big disappointment.
This problem is partially solved by the film, Pina, (by Wim Wenders), in which members of the company perform solo dances dedicated to their greatly-mourned leader and choreographer, Pina Bausch, who died suddenly in 2009. These solos are interspersed with excerpts of longer works that were created by Bausch, clips of Bausch herself dancing, and closeups of the faces of individual dancers (sometimes accompanied by voice-over remembrances) as they remember Bausch. All of this and 3-D too!
The film has so much going on, so many layers of meaning, so many things to absorb and such astonishingly evocative dancing that I knew I needed to see it again. Thank goodness I can, and if you're in Vancouver you can see it this week at the Fifth Avenue theatre.
There's a small Geistian connection here: the close-ups of dancers remembering Bausch reminded me of "Close Your Eyes and Think of Home" from Geist 49.