The world renowned company Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch is back in Montreal at last with Vollmond, a major work by the deceased German choreographer Pina Bausch, a legendary figure acclaimed for initiating the dance theatre movement that revolutionized dance and influenced generations of dance artists.
Created in 2006, Vollmond (Full Moon) accentuates the profound humanity of dancers of all ages and origins as they explore solitude and the desire for love, complete with laughter and tears, unfeeling apathy and startling vitality. Poignant, dizzying and amazing solos are danced on a bare proscenium. These alternate with encounters, games of sensual or playful seduction, and comical theatre sketches that take place amidst Peter Pabst’s amazing set design. Centred round a huge lunar-like rock, Bausch’s cherished theme of water surges and resurges. A lake appears, and a dancer floats by while others swim, fight or frolic under intermittent rain that falls in a downpour or as a fine drizzle. Like a pagan ritual, the piece impresses with very powerful imagery.
Pina Bausch (1940-2009) and the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch
A dominant figure of dance over the past four decades, Pina Bausch made headlines in the 1970s with the macabre, violent tableaux of her first dance pieces and her iconoclastic versions of classics such as Orpheus and Eurydice (1975), Rite of Spring (presented at the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976) and Bluebeard (1977). Starting in 1976 she dismantled the usual codes of dance composition, presenting puzzles of discontinuous narration where dance alternated with acting. She dispensed with concepts of characters and performers to concentrate on coded behaviours, the game of seduction and the violence of small everyday gestures, with humour and derision an antidote to solitude, melancholy and despair. Her emblematic works include Café Müller, Bandoneon, Nelken (Carnations) and Kontakthof (presented in Montreal in 1985). She later reprised the latter piece with a version performed by two different casts – one consisting of men and women over 65 and the other of teenagers over 14.
In 1973 Pina Bausch became artistic director of the Wuppertal Opera Ballet, an institution that she renamed Tanztheater Wuppertal two years later, instigating a veritable revolution with the advent of the dance-theatre movement. She died at age 68, but around 30 of the 46 pieces in her repertoire are still performed. Since April 2013 the artist director of the company has been Lutz Förster, who intends to carry on her legacy and to present new works.
Lush and lovely, with an expensive, over-the-top interactive set and all the long hair, high heels, and ill-fitting, floor-length gowns a person can take, Vollmond is everything we've come to expect from the late Pina Bausch. (brooklynrail.org)
Photo © Wilfried Krüger
A piece by Pina Bausch.
Director and Choreographer Pina Bausch. Set Design Peter Pabst. Costume Design Marion Cito. Musical Collaboration Matthias Burkert, Andreas Eisenschneider. Collaboration Robert Sturm, Daphnis Kokkinos, Marion Cito. Set Design Assistant Alexandra Corrazola. Costume Design Assistant Jo van Norden. Dancers Pablo Aran Gimeno, Rainer Behr, Silvia Farias Heredia, Ditta Miranda Jasjfi, Dominique Mercy, Nazareth Panadero, Helena Pikon, Jorge Puerta Armenta, Azusa Seyama, Julie Anne Stanzak, Michael Strecker, Fernando Suels Mendoza. Music Amon Tobin, Alexander Balanescu with the Balanescu Quartett, Cat Power, Carl Craig, Jun Miyake, Leftfield, Magyar Posse, Nenad Jelić, René Aubry, Tom Waits. Premiere May 11, 2006, Wuppertal. Performance rights L´Arche Éditeur. Artistic director Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch Lutz Förster. Rehearsal Directors Daphnis Kokkinos, Robert Sturm. Technical Director Jörg Ramershoven. Lighting Director Fernando Jacon. Lighting Assistants Peter Bellingshausen, Kerstin Hardt (guest). Sound Andreas Eisenschneider. Stage Manager Andreas Deutz. Stage Technicians Dietrich Röder, Martin Winterscheidt. Props Jan Szito. Wardrobe Harald Boll, Silvia Franco, Andreas Maier, Ulrike Schneider. Ballet Master Ernesta Corvino. Osteopath Jochen Heisterbach. General Director Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch Dirk Hesse. Personal Assistant to Directors Sabine Hesseling.