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Pina Bausch

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Other names  Philippina Bausch
Spouse  Rolf Borzik
Role  Dance performer
Name  Pina Bausch
Alma mater  Folkwangschule

Pina Bausch wwwpinafilmdetitlespinaenjpg

Born  27 July 1940 (1940-07-27) Solingen, Germany
Occupation  Modern dance choreographer
Awards  Deutscher Tanzpreis (1995) Europe Theatre Prize (1999) Praemium Imperiale (1999) Goethe Prize (2008)
Died  June 30, 2009, Wuppertal, Germany
Children  Ralf-Salomon T, Salomon Bausch
Parents  Anita Bausch, August Bausch
Movies  Talk to Her, The Complaint of the Em, And the Ship Sails On
Similar People  Wim Wenders, Dominique Mercy, Rolf Borzik, Anne Linsel, Martha Graham

Pina bausch the fall dance

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.


Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch Pina Bausch

Waapa dance students learning from tanztheater wuppertal pina bausch company dancers

Early life

Pina Bausch Pina Bausch Style Icons Pinterest Pina bausch Dancing and People

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.


Pina Bausch Pina Bausch photo biography

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.

Pina Bausch pina bausch De moi pour toi

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"

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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

Pina Bausch Pina Bausch Wikipedia

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.

Pina Bausch Translation of vibration Emotive Language and Dance The Language

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.

In 2009, Bausch started to collaborate with film director Wim Wenders on a 3D documentary, Pina. The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011.

Personal life

Bausch was married to Dutch-born Rolf Borzik, a set and costume designer who died of leukemia in 1980. Later that year she met Ronald Kay, and in 1981 they had a son, Rolf-Salomon T.

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 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.

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".

The details about the music for the works until 1986 follow a book by Raimund Hoghe who was dramaturg in Wuppertal.


  • 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.
  • References

    Pina Bausch Wikipedia