Who was the Dancing Queen who revolutionized her art?

One of the most influential icons in the history of dance: dancer, choreographer, teacher and artistic director of her very own theatre. This, and probably more, has been Pina Bausch.



Her path was clear since a very young age, when she first performed small roles in her hometown, Solingen. Her blatant talent guaranteed her a scholarship at the Julliard School of New York. Later in her career she got casted, as a ballerina, from the New American Ballet which used to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House.


It was 1968 when she first started to express herself as a choreographer for her corps de ballet at the Folkwang Hochshcule of Essen. Six years later she founded her own Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch which immediately gained an extraordinary reputation among both artists and dancers in general.


But what is it that makes her such a unique persona?


Her revolutionary concept of dance was to represent the basic human relationship while moving. The archetype, the embryo, the basic construct of human life, the fragile balance between strength and vulnerability that commands our existence. It was not just dancing to a rhythm: that was not enough anymore. A combination of steps, action, acting, interaction with the audience and with the scenic elements.


It was the 70s and the world was in the middle of revolutions and dance…dance needed to keep the pace up. Bausch knew how to take the historic discipline of ballet into this new era. Merce Cunningham laid the foundation and she finished the job. New codes, new gestures and new needs were discovered. Bodily heaven and hell, dancers were to tell their story of suffering, the audience needed to know there were no boundaries in-between them.


She never stopped working, she never stopped her revolutionary movement around the stage. She devoted her life to the birth of contemporary dance until 2009, when she passed away at 68 years old. She left the Earth side of the world, leaving back behind her memory and heritage.

A visionary, a pioneer, an iconic persona: she took the strict élite tradition of ballet, deboned it and gave life to contemporary dance.


This, and much more, was Pina Bausch.


Articolo a cura di: Victoria Pevere

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