Pina Bausch (center) and Dominique Mercy (second from left) at the end of Wiesenland in 2009 in Paris.
27 July 1940|
|Died||30 June 2009
Wuppertal, North Rhine Westphalia, Germany
|Other names||Philippina Bausch|
|Occupation||Modern dance choreographer|
Philippina "Pina" Bausch (27 July 1940 – 30 June 2009) was a German performer of modern dance, choreographer, dance teacher and ballet director. With her unique style, a blend of movement, sound, and prominent stage sets, and with her elaborate collaboration with performers during the development of a piece (a style now known as Tanztheater), she became a leading influence in the field of modern dance from the 1970s on. She created the company Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch (de) which performs internationally.
Bausch was born in Solingen, the third and youngest child of August and Anita Bausch, who owned a restaurant with guest rooms. The restaurant provided Pina with a venue to start performing at a very young age. She would perform for all of the guests in the hotel. It was then that her parents saw her potential.
At age 15, Pina was accepted into the Folkwangschule (Folkwang Academy). The school was directed by Kurt Jooss, one of the pioneers of a new dance theater form called Tanztheater, that connected dance and dramatic work or theater.
After graduation in 1959, Bausch left Germany with a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service to continue her studies at the Juilliard School in New York City in 1960, where her teachers included Antony Tudor, José Limón, Alfredo Corvino, and Paul Taylor. Bausch was soon performing with Tudor at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, and with Paul Taylor at New American Ballet. When in 1960 Taylor was invited to premiere a new work named Tablet in Spoleto, Italy, he took Bausch with him. In New York Bausch also performed with the Paul Sanasardo and Donya Feuer Dance Company and collaborated on two pieces with them in 1961. It was in New York City that Pina stated, "New York is like a jungle but at the same time it gives you a feeling of total freedom. In these two years I have found myself"
In 1962, Bausch joined Jooss' new Folkwang-Ballett (Folkwang Ballet) as a soloist and assisted Jooss on many of the pieces. In 1968, she choreographed her first piece, Fragmente (Fragments), to music by Béla Bartók. In 1969, she succeeded Jooss as artistic director of the company.
Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch
In 1973, Bausch started as artistic director of the Wuppertal Opera ballet, which was later renamed as the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch (de), run as an independent company. The company has a large repertoire of original pieces, and regularly tours throughout the world from its home base of the Opernhaus Wuppertal.
Her best-known dance-theatre works include the melancholic Café Müller (1978), in which dancers stumble around the stage crashing into tables and chairs. Bausch had most of the dancers perform this piece with their eyes closed. The thrilling Frühlingsopfer (The Rite of Spring) (1975) required the stage to be completely covered with soil. She stated: "It is almost unimportant whether a work finds an understanding audience. One has to do it because one believes that it is the right thing to do. We are not only here to please, we cannot help challenging the spectator."
One of the themes in her work was relationships. She had a very specific process in which she went about creating emotions. "Improvisation and the memory of [the dancer's] own experiences ... she asks questions-about parents, childhood, feelings in specific situations, the use of objects, dislikes, injuries, aspirations. From the answers develop gestures, sentences, dialogues, little scenes". The dancer is free to choose any expressive mode, whether it is verbal or physical when answering these questions. It is with this freedom that the dancer feels secure in going deep within themselves. When talking about her process she stated, “There is no book. There is no set. There is no music. There is only life and us. It's absolutely frightening to do a work when you have nothing to hold on to”. She stated, “In the end, it's composition. What you do with things. There's nothing there to start with. There are only answers: sentences, little scenes someone's shown you. It's all separate to start with. Then at a certain point I'll take something which I think is right and join it to something else. This with that, that with something else. One thing with various other things. And by the time I've found the next thing is right, then the little thing I had is already a lot bigger."
Male-female interaction is a theme found throughout her work, which has been an inspiration for—and reached a wider audience through—the movie Talk to Her, directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Her pieces are constructed of short units of dialogue and action, often of a surreal nature. Repetition is an important structuring device. She stated: “Repetition is not repetition, ... The same action makes you feel something completely different by the end” Her large multi-media productions often involve elaborate sets and eclectic music. In Vollmond, half of the stage is taken up by a giant, rocky hill, and the score includes everything from Portuguese music to k.d. lang.
In 1983, she played the role of La Principessa Lherimia in Federico Fellini's film And the Ship Sails On. The Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch made its American debut in Los Angeles as the opening performance of the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival.
Awards and honours
Among the honours awarded to Bausch are the UK's Laurence Olivier Award and Japan's Kyoto Prize. She was awarded the Deutscher Tanzpreis in 1995. In 1999 she was the recipient of the Europe Theatre Prize. In 2008 the city of Frankfurt am Main awarded her its prestigious Goethe Prize. She was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009.
Works by Bausch were staged in June and July 2012 as a highlight of the Cultural Olympiad preceding the Olympic Games 2012 in London. The works were created when Bausch was invited to visit and stay in 10 global locations – in India, Brazil, Palermo, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Budapest, Istanbul, Santiago, Rome and Japan – between 1986 and 2009. Seven of the works have not been seen in the UK.
Bausch died on 30 June 2009 in Wuppertal, North Rhine Westphalia, Germany at the age of 68 of an unstated form of lung cancer attributable to smoking, five days after diagnosis and two days before shooting was scheduled to begin for the long-planned Wim Wenders documentary. She is survived by her son Salomon.
The same year choreographer and experimental theatre maker Dimitris Papaioannou created a piece called Nowhere to inaugurate the renovated Main Stage of the Greek National Theatre in Athens. The show’s central and most prolific scene was dedicated to the memory of Pina Bausch and involved performers linking arms and stripping naked a man and woman.
Wenders' documentary, Pina, was released in late 2011 in the United States, and is dedicated to her memory.
Influence on other artists
Bausch's style has influenced performers such as David Bowie, who designed part of his 1987 Glass Spider Tour with Bausch in mind. For the tour, Bowie "wanted to bridge together some kind of symbolist theater and modern dance" and used Bausch's early work as a guideline.
Influence on popular culture
Promotional trailers for the third season of American Horror Story: Coven included a clip for the episode "Detention" were likely influenced by Bausch's work Blaubart. Stills from the performance and the episode show a group of women seemingly defying gravity as they cling to the walls high above the ground, toes pointed down and hands pressed above them. The photo of Bausch's performance was previously released on Reddit as well as Twitter with the implication that it was from a Russian mental institution, but its source was quickly identified.
The following table shows works since 1973. Several of Pina Bausch's works were announced as Tanzabend because she chose a title late in the development of a work. The typical subtitle from 1978 was Stück von Pina Bausch (A piece by Pina Bausch). The translations are given as on the website of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. Some of the German titles are ambiguous. "Kontakthof" is composed of Kontakt ("contact") and Hof ("court, courtyard"), resulting in "courtyard of contact", which is also a technical term for an area in some brothels where first contact with prostitutes is possible. "Ich bring dich um die Ecke", literally "I'll take you around the corner", can mean "I'll accompany you around the corner" but also colloquially "I'll kill you". "Ahnen" can mean "ancestors", but also (as a verb) "to foresee", "bode", "suspect".
|1973||Fritz||Tanzabend||by Gustav Mahler and Wolfgang Hufschmidt|
|Iphigenie auf Tauris||Tanzoper||Iphigenia in Tauris||Gluck's opera Iphigenie auf Tauris|
|1974||Zwei Krawatten||Two ties||Choreography of a revue|
|Ich bring' dich um die Ecke||Schlagerballett||I'll do you in||Dance music after old Schlager||ambiguous title|
|Adagio||Fünf Lieder von Gustav Mahler||Adagio / Five songs by Gustav Mahler||Mahler's Five songs|
|1975||Orpheus und Eurydike||Tanzoper||Gluck's opera Orpheus und Eurydike|
|Frühlingsopfer||Wind von West
Der zweite Frühling
Le Sacre du Printmps
|The Rite of Spring||Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring|
|1976||Die sieben Todsünden||Die sieben Todsünden der Kleinbürger
Fürchtet Euch nicht
|The Seven Deadly Sins||The Seven Deadly Sins, music: Kurt Weill, libretto: Bertolt Brecht||Ballet with pantomime, dance and singing (soprano and male quartet)|
|1977||Blaubart||Beim Anhören einer Tonbandaufnahme von Béla Bartóks Oper Herzog Blaubarts Burg, Stück von Pina Bausch||Bluebeard / while listening to a taped recording of Béla Bartók's opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle, a piece by Pina Bausch||Bartók's opera Bluebeard's Castle|
|Komm tanz mit mir||Stück unter Verwendung von alten Volksliedern||Come dance with me, piece using old folk songs||old folk songs|
|Renate wandert aus||Operette von Pina Bausch||Renate emigrates||Schlager, Songs, Evergreens|
|1978||Er nimmt sie an der Hand und führt sie in sein Schloss, die anderen folgen ...||Stück von Pina Bausch||He takes her by the hand and leads her into the castle, the others follow ...||Schauspielhaus Bochum|
|Café Müller||Stück von Pina Bausch||by Henry Purcell|
|Kontakthof||Court of contact||Schlager of the 1930s, a.o.||ambiguous title|
|1979||Arien||Stück von Pina Bausch||Arias||by Beethoven, Comedian Harmonists, Mozart, old Italian arias, sung by Benjamino Gigli, a.o.|
|Keuschheitslegende||Stück von Pina Bausch||Legend of chastity||by Nino Rota, Robin/Styne, George Gershwin, Georg Boulanger, Peter Kreuder, Barnabas von Geczy, a.o.|
|1980||1980 – Ein Stück von Pina Bausch||1980 A piece by Pina Bausch||old English folk songs, Shakespeare songs, Comedian Harmonists, Judy Garland, a.o.|
|Bandoneon||Stück von Pina Bausch||Tangoes, sung a.o. by Carlos Gardel|
|1982||Walzer||Stück von Pina Bausch||Waltz||by Edith Piaf, Tino Rossi, a.o.|
|Nelken||Stück von Pina Bausch||Carnations||by Franz Schubert, George Gershwin, Sophie Tucker, a.o.||New version in 1983 at the Theaterfestival München|
|1984||Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei gehört||Stück von Pina Bausch||On the mountain a cry was heard||by Heinrich Schütz, Henry Purcell, Felix Mendelssohn, Irish pipe music, Billie Holiday, Tommy Dorsey, Fred Astaire, a.o.|
|1985||Two Cigarettes in the Dark||Stück von Pina Bausch||by Monteverdi, Brahms, Beethoven, Bach, Hugo Wolf, Purcell, Ben Webster, Alberta Hunter, Minnelieder, a.o.|
|1986||Viktor||Stück von Pina Bausch||Folk music from Lombardy, Tuscany, Southern Italy, Sardinia and Bolivia, medieval dance music, Russian Waltz, music from New Orleans, dance music of the 1930s, music by Tchaikovsky, Buxtehude, Dvořák and Khachaturian, a.o.|
|1991||Tanzabend II||Dance Evening II|
|1993||Das Stück mit dem Schiff||The Piece with the Ship|
|1994||Ein Trauerspiel||A Tragedy|
|1996||Nur Du||Only you|
|1997||Der Fensterputzer||The window washer|
|Kontakthof – Mit Damen und Herren ab 65||Kontakthof – with men and women of age 65 and up|
|2001||Água||Portuguese for "Water"|
|2002||Für die Kinder von gestern, heute und morgen||For the children of yesterday, today, and tomorrow|
|2003||Nefés||Turkish for "Breath"|
|Kontakthof – Mit Teenagern ab 14||Kontakthof, with teenagers 14 years and up|
|2009||... como el musguito en la piedra, ay si, si, si ...||... like the moss on the stone ...|
- 1980 Die Generalprobe. Documentary. Dir.: Werner Schroeter.
- 1983 What Are Pina Bausch and Her Dancers Doing in Wuppertal?. Documentary. Dir.: Klaus Wildenhahn.
- 1983 Plaisir du théâtre. TV mini-series documentary. Dir.: Georges Bensoussan.
- 1983 And the Ship Sails On. Drama. Dir.: Federico Fellini.
- 1983 Un jour Pina m'a demandé. TV documentary. Dir.: Chantal Akerman.
- 1990 The Complaint of an Empress. Dir.: Pina Bausch.
- 1990 3res 14torze 16tze. TV series. Episode dated 26 January 1990. Dir.: Cristina Ferrer.
- 1998 Lissabon Wuppertal Lisboa. TV documentary. Dir.: Fernando Lopes.
- 2002 Talk to Her. Drama. Dir.: Pedro Almodóvar.
- 2002 Pina Bausch – A Portrait by Peter Lindbergh based on 'Der Fensterputzer'. TV short. Dir.: Peter Lindbergh.
- 2004 La mandrágora. TV series. Dir.: Miguel Sarmiento
- 2006 Pina Bausch. TV documentary. Dir.: Anne Linsel.
- 2010 Dancing Dreams. Documentary. Dir.: Rainer Hoffmann, Anne Linsel.
- 2011 Pina – Dance Dance Otherwise We Are Lost. Documentary. Dir.: Wim Wenders.
- 2011 Understanding Pina: The Legacy of Pina Bausch. Documentary. Dir.: Kathy Sullivan and Howard Silver
|Pina Bausch's Nelken (Carnations), 2005|
- according to some sources her birth name was Philippine, in: Pina Bausch. "Tanzen gegen die Angst". (Dancing against fear) Ullstein, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-548-60259-2, p. 27
Nach Angaben der Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung lautet ihr Name auf dem Taufschein Philippina Bausch, in: Gudrun Norbisrath: "Die Welt ist ärmer ohne Pina Bausch", Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 1. Juli 2009
- Itzkoff, Dave (30 June 2009). "Pina Bausch Dies". New York Times. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
- "Pina Bausch: Dancer and choreographer whose seminal work gave an unsettling view of the human condition". The Independent (London). 3 July 2009.
- Hoghe 1986, p. 157.
- Lille, Dawn (2010). Equipoise:The Life and Work of Alfredo Corvino. New York, NY: Rosen. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-4358-9124-1.
- Luke Jennings (1 July 2009), Obituary: Pina Bausch The Guardian.
- Tashiro 1999.
- Chris Wiegand (30 June 2009), Pina Bausch, German choreographer and dancer, dies The Guardian
- The Air That I Breathe Masurca Fogo, 1998
- "Cast overview". International Movie Database. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
- Jennings, Luke (1 July 2009). "Obituary: Pina Bausch". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
- VII Europe Theatre Prize / Reasons Europe Theatre Prize
- "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
- Mark Brown (9 March 2011), Pina Bausch dance cycle to be staged as part of 2012 Cultural Olympiad The Guardian.
- Haithman, Diane (1 July 2009). "Pina Bausch dies at 68; innovative German choreographer". Los Angeles Times.
- Pareles, Jon (2 August 1987), "Bowie Creates a Spectacle", The New York Times, retrieved 28 May 2013
- Remling, Amanda. "American Horror Story Season 3 Spoilers". International Business Times. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- Hoghe 1986, p. 8.
- Hoghe 1986, pp. 157–159.
- Fest mit Pina – Internationales Tanzfestival 2008 – Programm, 25 September 2008
- Ulrich Fischer: Kontraste prägen Pina Bauschs neues Tanzstück, dpa / Rhein-Zeitung, 13 June 2009
Tanztheater Pina Bausch startet zu Gastspielreise nach Chile, News Adhoc, 16 December 2009
- Climenhaga, Royd (2008). Pina Bausch. Routledge Performance Practitioners. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-18757-7.
- Climenhaga, Royd, ed. (2012). The Pina Bausch Sourcebook: The Making of Tanztheater. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-61801-4.
- Hoghe, Raimund (1986). Pina Bausch / Theatergeschichten (in German). Suhrkamp.
- Servos, Norbert (2008). Pina Bausch: Dance Theatre. K. Kieser. ISBN 978-3-935456-22-7.
- "Pina Bausch". Daily Telegraph. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- Dieutre, Vincent (1 July 2009). "The Death of the German Choreographer Pina Bausch". l'Humanité. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- Higgins, Charlotte (30 June 2009). "Pina Bausch, 1940-2009 / We have lost dance's most visionary, influential figure, who redrew the map of the theatre arts". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- Wakin, Daniel Wakin (30 June 2009). "Pina Bausch, German Choreographer, Dies at 68". New York Times. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- Lawson, Valerie (2002). "Pina, Queen Of The Deep / Pina Bausch, Tanztheater Wuppertal". Ballet Magazine. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- Schmidt, Jochen (2009). "Pina Bausch, in: 50 Choreographers". Goethe Institut. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- Tashiro, Mimi (1999). "Pina Bausch: Life and work". Stanford Presidential Lectures in the Humanities and Arts. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pina Bausch.|
- Pina Bausch Foundation
- Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch
- Archival footage of Lutz Forster performing in Pina Bausch's For the Children of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow in 2013 at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.