Bausch, Pina

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Bausch, Pina

Pina Bausch (pē´nə boush), 1940–2009, German dancer and choreographer. After training with Kurt Jooss, she studied in New York with Antony Tudor, Paul Taylor, José Limon, and Paul Sanasardo. She began choreographing in 1968 and in 1973 assumed the post of ballet master of the Wuppertal State Opera Dance Theatre. While this theater remained the base for her company, it frequently performed throughout Europe and the United States. Bausch became known for her rather bleak vision of humanity and for her neoexpressionist approach, and was also noted for her dramatic, surreal stagings, e.g., in Carnations (1983) the stage was covered with thousands of silk carnations that were trampled during the performance, and in Arien (1985) the dance area was filled with ankle-deep water. Her experimental concert ballets included productions of Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins. She also choreographed Stravinsky's Sacre du printemps (1975) and Bandoneon (1980). Bausch's later works, which tended to be mellower in tone and more romantic than her earlier dances, include Two Cigarettes in the Dark (1994), The Window Washer (1997), and Danzón (1999). After 1986 Bausch also created full-length pieces inspired and usually commissioned by various cities; these include Palermo, Palermo (1991), Hong Kong in Der Fensterputzer (1997), Lisbon and São Paulo in Masurca Fogo (2001), and İstanbul in Nefés (2003).

See studies by N. Servos (1979, tr. 1984), C. Fernandes (2001), D. Mulrooney (2002), and R. Climenhaga (2008); W. Wenders, dir., Pina (documentary film, 2011).

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