If you are interested in dance and all things dance related, then you might be familiar with Pina’s work. Philipinne Bausch is one of the most influential choreographers the World has ever seen. Her Tanztheater has become synonym of German expressionist dance.
Bausch passed away in June 2009, at the time when Wim Wenders was about to start filming the great film that opened up earlier this year. Wim Wenders is a very eclectic filmmaker, his creations go from “Wings of Desire” to “Buena Vista Social Club” and “Paris, Texas”, and the addition of “Pina” to this list is just great. The film is shot in 3D, and unlike in a number of so-called blockbusters, it does make absolute sense to use the media in this case. 3D allows the viewer to immerse themselves in the world of the dancers, to see them in their element and perceive things that otherwise they would not be able to experience.
The dirt and brutality of The Rite of Spring and the hilarity of Kontakthof are brought to life before the eyes of cinema goers in a fresh and new way. For me there were two moments that really took my breath away. One was the performance of Café Müller, a seminal piece that encapsulates Angst, passion, confusion and control. In particular that moment when two of the dancers come to hug each other, while a third one forces them over and over again to take a pose in which he carries her in his arms, a battle that the controlling rational mind can only loose against the visceral one. The second moment was the absolutely phenomenal treat of one of the dancers entering the monorail in Wuppertal and attacks without mercy a white pillow while making hilarious sounds effects as if she were a robot.
The film is definitely a tribute to Pina Bausch and the testimonials that the dancers give (portraits with voiceovers) let you get a glimpse to the everyday work with Pina the choreographer, Pina de human being. “Keep searching” she recommended to one of the dancers, although it was not obvious to search for what or where… Such is life I suppose.
I could continue trying to explain why I liked this film so much (the music is just great for example), but I would not make it justice. I can only recommend (urge) that you watch it. Pina is just simply delightful.
The Rite of Spring:
- A film for Pina Bausch
- Wim Wenders: Pina
- Dancing Dreams – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Pina is the first European 3D Art House-Berlinale 2011 Wim Wenders (birgenengin.wordpress.com)
- Film Weekly podcast: Wim Wenders’ dance with Pina (guardian.co.uk)