by Nicholas Bruder
Pina Bausch was one of those living legends. Her work has been seen by many. Her influence is felt throughout the dance world, and her memory will live in the history books, although she had already infiltrated them.
Her choreography reached a wider audience when snippets of Cafe Muller was shown in Pedro Almodovar’s film Talk to Her. Bausch’s work had a raw and timeless cloud around it. Her pieces were about “things,” not just one “something.” Metaphor was huge. The relationships between men and women always being dissected and presented to an audience that never knew what exactly they were going to see when she premiered a new work.
And the scale of the pieces were unthinkable. Snow falling on stage for a whole second half of a show. A mound of dirt blocking half of the stage. Flowers, chairs, walls, screams, sweat, tears, bruises. All real. Although the visuals were impressive, I do not believe they were ever used to impress upon. I feel that her work was honest and humble. It was ugly and beautiful. If one opened themselves up to the experience of the dancers, they would leave exhausted, but not abused. Bausch was true to her vision and dancers. The audience had to take the role of accepting that and to enjoy the ride, no matter how uncomfortable it might get. The pieces always ended beautifully.
Her pieces were made to be seen in grand, large theaters, but the attention that she asked for, and got, from the audience, was that of an intoxicating program on television.
Her work, I feel, was living cinematogrophy. There are many clips of her work around the Internet that can be found and enjoyed. But the greatest news is Bausch’s collaboration with famous film director, Wim Wellers Wenders. Before she passed, they announced plans to create and film a retrospective documentary on Bausch, and in 3-D. Wenders had cancelled the production after her death, but through public opinion and the amount of letters he received from lovers of Bausch’s work, he will be continuing on with the project.
A 3-D film on the life and work of Pina Bausch. This might be one of the best gifts that the dance world will receive. And in 3-D!! It might seem cheesy, but personally I have only had the privilege to see one Bausch piece live, and I am welcoming the opportunity to see another, in a way, Bausch original.