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CULTURE | 26.10.2016

Berlin is Dancing: Pina Bausch and the Tanztheater

With her choreographies Pina Bausch shaped the modern dance genre like no other. However, she did not make history in the world’s metropolises, such as Paris or New York, but in the tranquil Ruhr area – in the Lichtburg studio in Wuppertal, where most of her choreographies, which combined acting and artistic performance in a unique way, originated. Except for the dancers, few others had access to the old cinema from the 1950s. Even when riding the elevated railway (the rehearsal space is at about the same height), curious looks were met only by white fabric, which covered the windows.

The exhibition “Pina Bausch and the Tanztheater”, which takes place at the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin from September 16 to January 9, 2017, now reveals the secret behind these curtains. In addition to objects, installations, photos and videos from the Pina Bausch Archive, a copy of the rehearsal space was also installed. Barres, a piano, and even the long wooden table are all there. Standing next to the latter, Pina Bausch would watch her dancers and take notes.

The room has little to do with a formal exhibition space, in which museum guards give you the infamous “Do not touch and best not breathe either”-look as soon as you have entered the room. Rather, it is to be understood as a place of encounter, in which the legacy of Pina Bausch comes alive through dance performances and workshops. Nevertheless, buckets filled with water, as in the piece “Vollmond” (full moon), must and should not be dumped in the hall. So in case the guard’s gaze fixes on you for an ominously long time during your visit, simply understand it as a silent invitation to dance.

Find out more about the exhibition at the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin (through January 9, 2017) here. And to set the mood for your visit, there is in our opinion no better film than Wim Wender’s tribute to “Pina” (s. trailer above).

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