Pina Bausch’s legacy lives on

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE | CULTURE - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in Ber­lin

The dance com­pany that leg­endary Ger­man chore­og­ra­pher Pina Bausch, who died in 2009, built into one of the world’s most ac­claimed is do­ing its ut­most to fos­ter her mov­ing legacy.

Beloved of fel­low artists and seen as a vi­sion­ary by her peers in the dance world, Bausch mixed dance and theater to pro­duce a tu­mult of emo­tions, free from tra­di­tional con­straints that of­ten di­vided au­di­ences.

“I’m not in­ter­ested in how peo­ple move, but in what moves them,” she said shortly be­fore her death from can­cer.

Now her life’s work is be­ing hon­ored with a Ber­lin ex­hi­bi­tion, Pina Bausch and the Tanzthe­ater, where mem­bers of the com­pany will of­fer up to five work­shops a day to cu­ri­ous vis­i­tors and dance lovers through Jan 7.

“I couldn’t have imag­ined that you could ex­press your­self with­out dif­fi­cult tech­nique,” says 38-year-old Ker­stin Brennscheidt, who had brought her son to re­hearse a piece from Bausch’s 1982 work Nelken.

The ex­hi­bi­tion re-cre­ates the Licht­burg, a former cin­ema in the western in­dus­trial city of Wup­per­tal that Bausch turned into the head­quar­ters of her dance rev­o­lu­tion.

“Some­how she’s still there in us. I feel her aura around us. It’s over­pow­er­ing,” says Aus­tralian Josephine Ann Endi­cott, 66, who be­came the chore­og­ra­pher’s as­sis­tant after be­ing one of the star dancers of the Tanzthe­ater.

Since Bausch’s death, her com­pany has stepped up the ef­fort of pass­ing on her works to the younger gen­er­a­tion within their own ranks and to other pro­fes­sional dancers.

The chore­og­ra­pher’s dis­ci­ples have com­mu­ni­cated their se­crets to the Paris Opera Bal­let, the Bavar­ian state bal­let and the Na­tional English Bal­let in re­cent years.

And Bausch deputy Endi­cott has branched out even fur­ther by stag­ing the dance Kon­tak­thof with a group of teenagers and those aged above 65.

Per­haps the great­est chal­lenge for the troupe now is to be­gin cre­at­ing some­thing new, rather than just re­main­ing in their founder’s shadow as a liv­ing mon­u­ment. Pi­naBausch.


Josephine Ann Endi­cott, former as­sis­tant to Ger­man chore­og­ra­pher Pina Bausch, gives a dance work­shop in Bonn, western Ger­many, on the side­lines of an ex­hi­bi­tion

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