January 29, 2012 |
3-D or not 3-D: That is the question. Or at least it's one question ricocheting through the dance community in the aftermath of "Pina," Wim Wenders' recent 3-D film tribute to the late innovative German choreographer and Tanztheater Wuppertal company leader Pina Bausch. In one sense, it's a nonissue: Every classic dance film ever made would have infinitely more power with real dimensional space around, behind, above and in front of the dancers. Think about Fred Astaire gunning down the corps in "Top Hat" or the fantastic colors and shapes in "The Red Shoes" ballet or Baryshnikov defining male classicism for the whole century in "The Turning Point" or Patrick Swayze having the time of his life in "Dirty Dancing" or the Merce Cunningham company making modernism irresistibly seductive in "Points in Space.
January 13, 2012 |
Like the great Pelé, Pina was a one-name person, a groundbreaking dancer and choreographer with accomplishments so one-of-a-kind that to her admirers no surname was necessary. But whether you're familiar with Pina Bausch's work or not, the new film "Pina" is a knockout. Directed by the veteran Wim Wenders, "Pina" is the most exciting use of 3-D since "Avatar. " The performance documentary takes us inside Bausch's extraordinary dances in a way that nothing else could. In fact, though Bausch and Wenders had been talking about a filmed collaboration for 20 years, it wasn't until the director saw the three-dimensional performance footage in the concert film "U2 3D" that he felt he had found the key to bringing Bausch's work to the screen and doing it any kind of justice.
December 11, 2011 |
Twenty-five years ago, Wim Wenders' girlfriend dragged him to a performance by Tanztheater Wuppertal, the modern dance company led by Pina Bausch. "I tried to avoid it," the German filmmaker recalled. "Dance was not for me.... Finally I went along, expecting a boring evening. " It turned out to be a life-changing experience. "I have seen other dance since then, but I've never been touched by anything as much as Pina's work," Wenders said in a recent interview in West Hollywood. He eventually struck up a friendship with the choreographer, and together they planned to make a documentary about the company.
December 7, 2011 |
A painting, according to Marcel Duchamp, dies after 50 years. Dances are rarely so lucky. The West Coast premiere of Pina Bausch's "Danzón," which Tanztheater Wuppertal brought to UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Auditorium over the weekend, was made in 1995. It felt marvelously alive Saturday. Yet "Danzón" lives on borrowed time. The company is now halfway through its third year without its founder. Unlike Merce Cunningham who decreed that his dance company would disband two seasons after his death, Bausch made no such plans for Tanztheater Wuppertal, which she began in 1973.
June 10, 2010
As part of its citywide festival bringing dance film to Los Angeles every June, Dance Camera West presents "Weekend at the Hammer," three programs over two days. On Saturday afternoon, two films tell the story of Pina Bausch, a modern dance phenomenon. Saturday evening's documentary, "Dancing Dreams," explores what happens when 40 teens rehearse a performance of Bausch's piece "Kontakthof (Comfort Zone)." On Sunday, the festival will switch gears, showing six award-winning short films of dance.
July 2, 2009 |
It was not without trepidation in 1984 that I first met Pina Bausch, the revolutionary German choreographer who died unexpectedly Monday at 68. Her Wuppertal Tanztheater was about to make its U.S. debut by opening the Olympic Arts Festival at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, and I asked for an interview. She was unknown in the States, and what I had gathered from a not always admiring European press was that she was angry, violent, feminist, sexually intimidating, emasculating. She said she would speak with me under two conditions: that I travel to Wuppertal, Germany, and that I first see her work.