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Reviews and Photographs

Reviews

Pina Bausch is probably the most important post-World War II German choreographer, and unquestionably one of the most influential choreographers of our time. Her admirers consider her artistry brilliant and moving, while her detractors find her works controversial and boring. Her dancers play to standing-room-only audiences worldwide and evoke strong sentiments and reactions. Words cannot adequately describe Bausch’s creations and perhaps they can only speak for themselves. However, there is no lack of those who try.

Jamie Jones in Vanity Fair, December 1994:

Dance theater à la Pina raids the closet of 20th-century art and performance, and transmutes the disparate elements by alchemy into something completely original. Surrealistic eroticism, astringent Brechtian satire, and a bold dash of cabaret vamping are united with traditional modern-dance movement to create an experience that manages to be at once metaphorical and yet palpably, searingly real. The audience is gripped with suspense, even if the story remains elliptical, allusive, and at times bewildering.

 

Susan Manning in TDR 30, no.2:  

Pina Bausch has evolved the most distinctive and the most internationally-known form of tanztheater. . . . Like her contemporaries in theater, Bausch combines a visually rich production style with techniques drawn from Stanislavski and Brecht, and the result approaches Artaud's idea of a theater of cruelty. Her performers employ alienation techniques, undercutting the spectator's sympathetic identification by presenting their role-playing as self-consciously theatrical. The result is a performance that simultaneously distances and engages the spectator. This push and pull leaves many spectators exhausted by the end of the evening, overwhelmed by the emotional complexity of the experience. Bausch's theater of cruelty effects a peculiar catharsis, for the experience of the work leaves spectators drained, but with no sense of resolution.


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Photographs of Works by Pina Bausch

 Sacre du printemps  (1975)

Café Müller  (1978)
Arien  (1979)
Nelken  (1982)

Viktor  (1986)

Nur Du  (1996)

Der Fensterputzer  (1997)

By Mimi Tashiro ©1999, Stanford University


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