Just Dance: PINA BAUSCH 碧娜鮑許
WIM WENDERS ABOUT PINA BAUSCH
INVENTOR OF A NEW ART FORM
No, there was no hurricane that swept across the stage,
there were just … people performing
who moved differently then I knew
and who moved me as I had never been moved before.
After only a few moments I had a lump in my throat,
and after a few minutes of unbelieving amazement
I simply let go of my feelings
and cried unrestrainedly.
This had never happened to me before…
maybe in life, sometimes in the cinema,
but not when watching a rehearsed production,
let alone choreography.
This was not theatre, nor pantomime,
nor ballet and not at all opera.
Pina is, as you know,
the creator of a new art.
Until now movement as such has never touched me.
I always regarded it as a given.
One just moves. Everything moves.
Only through Pina’s Tanztheater have I learned to value
movements, gestures, attitudes, behaviour, body language,
and through her work learned to respect them.
And anew every time when, over the years I saw Pina’s pieces, many times and again,
did I relearn, often like being struck by thunder,
that the simplest and most obvious is the most moving at all:
What treasure lies within our bodies, to be able to express itself without words,
and how many stories can be told without saying a single sentence.
About The Movie
PINA is a feature-length dance film in 3D with the ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, featuring the unique and inspiring art of the great German choreographer, who died in the summer of 2009.
PINA is a film for Pina Bausch by Wim Wenders.
He takes the audience on a sensual, visually stunning journey of discovery into a new dimension: straight onto the stage with the legendary Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch ensemble, he follows the dancers out of the theatre into the city and the surrounding areas of Wuppertal – the place, which for 35 years was the home and centre for Pina Bausch’s creativity.
The Development of The Project
Wim Wenders was deeply impressed and moved when in 1985 he saw for the first time “Café Müller” by choreographer Pina Bausch when the Tanztheater Wuppertal performed in Venice, at the occasion of a retrospective of Busch’s work. Out of the meeting of the two artists grew a long-standing friendship and with the passage of time the plan for a joint film. However, putting the plan into action failed for a long time because of the limited possibilities of the medium: Wenders felt that he had not yet found a way to adequately translate Pina Bausch’s unique art of movement, gesture, speech and music into film. Over the years the joint film project turned into a friendly ritual, almost a running gag, with both artists reminding one another of their plan. “When?” “As soon as I know how…”
The defining moment finally came for Wim Wenders when the Irish Rock band U2 presented their digitally produced 3D concert film “U2-3D” in Cannes. Wenders knew immediately: “With 3D our project would be possible! Only in this way, by incorporating the dimension of space, I could dare (and not just presumingly), to bring Pina’s Tanztheater in in an adequate form to the screen. ” Wenders began to systematically view the new generation of digital 3D cinema and in 2008 together with Pina Bausch to consider the realization of their shared dream. Together with Wim Wenders, Bausch selected “Café Müller”, “Le Sacre du printemps”, “Vollmond” and “Kontakthof” from her repertoire and added them to her 2009/2010 season.
Shock And The Begining
In early 2009, Wim Wenders and his production company Neue Road Movies, together with Pina Bausch and the Ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, began the phase of actual pre-production. After half a year of intensive work, and only two days before the planned 3D rehearsal shoot, the unimaginable happened: Pina Bausch died on June 30th 2009, suddenly and unexpectedly. Around the world admirers of her art and friends of the Tanztheater Wuppertal mourned the death of the great choreographer. This seemed to be the end of the joint film project. Wim Wenders immediately stopped preparations, convinced that the movie, without Pina Bausch, should no longer be pursued.
After a period of mourning and reflection and encouraged by many international appeals, the consent of the family, and the request of staff and dancers of the ensemble who were just about to start rehearsing the pieces selected for the film, Wim Wenders decided to make the film without Pina Bausch at his side, after all. Her inquiring, affectionate look at the gestures and movements of her ensemble and every detail of her choreography was still alive and present and inscribed into the bodies of her dancers. Now, in spite of the great loss, was the right moment, and maybe the last one to record all this on film.
The new film concept includes, in addition to excerpts from the four productions of “Café Müller”, “Le Sacre du printemps”, “Vollmond” and “Kontakthof”, carefully selected archive footage of Pina Bausch at work, innovatively inserted in the 3D world of the film as a third element, with many imaginative, short solo performances by the dancers of the ensemble. To achieve this, Wim Wenders used Pina Bausch’s own method of “questioning” with which the choreographer developed her new productions. She posed questions and her dancers answered not in words, but with improvised dance and body language.
PINA is not only one of the first European 3D movies ever, it is also the world’s first 3D art house film. Producer Gian Piero Ringel was faced with no easy task: “Technologically as well as with the genre, we enter completely unchartered territory with PINA. Even to find the technical experts for the development and implementation was a challenge, as there were very few.” Currently a new film language is being developed through the digital 3D process – a challenge for any producer. “Many other directors are still hesitating to work in 3D, because there are no successful models. We wanted to be a pioneers in the expansion of the cinematic language to 3D.”
But conquering new territory requires a special effort: “Everyone involved in the production had to learn how to make a 3D dance movie. What works in 2D, does by no means have to work in 3D. For this we needed proper research”, says 3D Producer Erwin M. Schmidt. He continues: “In an ongoing learning process, we acquired the know-how for the preparation, the shoot and the post-production.”
“The new 3D process opens up an entirely new perspective on the Tanztheater, ” said a delighted Dominique Mercy, one of the two artistic directors of the Wuppertal Tanztheater, during the filming. “To work at this with Wim Wenders and his crew is a wonderful experience. It is a huge joint journey of exploration. Wim Wenders continues to find out more and more about what the Tanztheater can be, and we discover with the film team a whole new way of working. It is a very creative atmosphere.”
PINA was filmed in Wuppertal in three stages: in autumn of 2009, in spring and in summer of 2010. In the first stage “Café Müller”, “Le Sacre du printemps” and “Vollmond” were performed live on stage at the Wuppertal Opera House, some in front of an audience, and recorded in their entire lengths. The tight global tour schedule of the Tanztheater allowed only this window for the filming. In addition to the complex 3D recording, the challenge increased significantly with the live situation, because the recordings could not be interrupted or repeated. The complexity of a 3D live recording required intensive preparation and planning.
For the 3D image composition Wim Wenders convinced one of the most experienced 3D pioneers in stereography, Alain Derobe, to join his team. For the unique requirements of the shoot of PINA, Derobe developed a special 3D camera rig mounted on a crane. To create the depth of the room it is very important to stay close to the dancers and to follow them: “Normally, with a dance film, we would erect cameras in front of the stage, far away from the action on stage,” says Alain Derobe, “for PINA we positioned the cameras between the dancers. The camera literally dances with them. Therefore, each crew member had to deal with the choreography. Everyone had to know exactly where the dancers would move so the camera could follow them and not be in their way.”
Born as Philippine Bausch in 1940 in Solingen; under her nickname Pina she will later achieve international reputation with her Tanztheater based in nearby Wuppertal. Her parents run an inn as part of a hotel in Solingen, where Pina, like her siblings, lent a hand. She learns to observe people; above all, what moves people deep down. In her later work small pieces of this early childhood environment seem to resound: the sound of music, people coming and going, telling of their longing for happiness. But also the early experience of war is reflected in the pieces, as sudden outbursts of panic and fear of an anonymous threat.
Following first experiences at Solingen’s children’s ballet, at the age of 14 Pina Bausch started her dance training at the Folkwang Hochschule under Kurt Jooss. Before and after the Second World War, Jooss was a distinguished representative of the German modern dance movement, which had freed itself from the shackles of classical ballet. In his teaching, however, he reconciled the free spirit of dance revolutionaries with the principles of ballet. This is how the young dance student learned creative freedom as well as reaching proficiency in a clear form. Also important was the proximity to other arts, which are also taught at the Folkwang Hochschule: opera, music, drama, sculpture, painting, photography, design, and more. This wholly open approach will influence the choice of methods in her work as choreographer.
In 1958 she was awarded the Folkwang-Price and armed with a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service, she leaves for one year as a special student at the Juilliard School of Music to New York. The city is a Mecca of dance, where classical ballet is being reinvented by the likes of George Balanchine, as well as the development of modern dance. Pina Bausch’s teachers include Antony Tudor, José Limón, and dancers of the Martha Graham Dance Company, Alfredo Corvino, and Margaret Craske. As a dancer she worked with Paul Taylor, Paul Sanasardo and Donya Feuer.