Café Müller

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Café Müller
ChoreographerPina Bausch
MusicHenry Purcell
Premiere20 May 1978
Opera House Wuppertal
Original ballet companyTanztheater Wuppertal
DesignRolf Borzik
Created for
  • Malou Airaudo
  • Pina Bausch
  • Meryl Tankard
  • Rolf Borzik
  • Dominique Mercy
  • Jan Minarik

Café Müller is a dance choreographed by Pina Bausch set to the music of Henry Purcell.[1] It has been performed regularly since its creation and in May 1985 was performed and filmed at the Opernhaus, and broadcast on German television in December of that year.[2]

Performance history[edit]

Original production[edit]

Pina Bausch created and performed Café Müller for her dance company Tanztheater Wuppertal. The performance took place on May 20, 1978 at the Opernhaus Wuppertal. The dance was inspired by and based on her childhood memories of watching her father work at his café in Germany during and immediately following World War II.[3]

Televised Broadcast[edit]

Café Müller was broadcast on German television in December 1985.

Director and choreographer: Pina Bausch

Music: Henry Purcell's The Fairy-Queen and Dido and Aeneas.

Costume and Set Designer: Rolf Borzik



1980: Nancy

1980: Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Lima, Bogota, Caracas, Mexico City

1981: Parma, Torin, En Gedi, En Hashovez, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Cologne

1982: Paris, Vienna, Rome

1983: Hamburg 1984 Sassari, Cagliari, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Hamburg

1985: Paris, Venice, Madrid, Grenoble

1986: Lyon, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto

1987: East-Berlin, Gera, Cottbus, Dresden, Athens, Wroclaw, Prague, Kosice

1988: Reggio, Cremona, Bologna, Modena

1992: Edinburgh

1993: Munich, Paris, Moscow

1994: Lisbon

1995: Budapest, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Avignon, Tel Aviv

1998: Stockholm, Malmö

1999: Berlin

2002: Leuven, Geneva, Dresden

2003: Bochum

2006: Brussels, Tokyo, Athens

2007: Beijing

2008: London, Lisbon, Barcelona

2008: Düsseldorf

2009: São Paulo

2010: Seoul, Monaco

2011: Warsaw

2013: Taipei, Kaohsiung, Goeteborg, Naples, Bordeaux, Antwerpen

2016: Wellington, Nîmes

2017: Ghent, New York, Antwerp, Ottawa, Hong Kong[5]

Summary of Movement[edit]

The piece takes place on a stage strewn with chairs. The chairs are placed randomly, but cover the length of the performance space. There is a door upstage right leading to a revolving door, and doors on either side of the stage.

There are six dancers, three men and three women. Two of the men wear suits, the third wears a loose white shirt tucked into trousers and dances barefoot. Two of the women, one portrayed by Bausch herself, wear long white dresses with bare feet, the other wears a dress, overcoat, and heels.

The dance moves about the stage, dancers shifting in and out of duet. At various moments, one or more dance with eyes closed, rushing across the stage strewn with chairs while the other dancers rush about them moving furniture out of the way.

The movement is often frantic and repetitive, halting with a feeling of exhaustion. There are themes of manipulation and dependence throughout the dance, which are realized through intense repetition as well as trust between dancers that they will keep each other safe on stage in varying states of awareness. The dancers rely on each other to clear their paths as they dance with their eyes shut, a strong example of the trust shared on-stage.


  1. ^ "Presidential Lectures: Pina Bausch - Café Müller". Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  2. ^ Kane, P. P. O. (2012-06-29). "Café Müller by Pina Bausch". Jildy Sauce. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  3. ^ "Choreographic Analysis". Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  4. ^ "Cafe Müller" by Pina Bausch with Pina Bausch Performing". NYC Dance Stuff. 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  5. ^ "Tanztheater Wuppertal - Pina Bausch - Pieces - Café Müller". Retrieved 2017-04-11.

External links[edit]

Café Müller on IMDB

Further reading[edit]