News of the death of Pina Bausch took us by surprise. After a month, her work makes a return to Wrocław in documentaries shown at the festival.
This was in Wrocław, where we bid farewell to her - one of the most outstanding artists of the 20th century. The legendary founder of the Wuppertal Tanztheater, dancer and choreographer, regarded as the creator of modern dance, Pina Bausch died suddenly a month ago. She was due to take part in the culmination of the Grotowski Year: the international theatre stars' festival "The World as a Place of Truth".
She didn't come. She knew about her illness - she had been diagnosed with cancer. A diagnosis like a sentence. The lively, joyful, wise artist of less than 70 years died five days after she had learned about it.
On the evening of the 30 June, the Wrocław Opera was crowded. Many of those present remembered the first Polish tour by the team of the Wuppertal Tanztheater. This was at the Wrocław Open Theatre Festival in 1987, when dancers of Pina Bausch performed the visionary "Rite of Spring" and "Cafe Müller". Even then, this was a theatre of exceptional, original expression, which overcome previous ways of thinking about movement on stage and creation of dramatic tension.
No one was certain whether, after the tragic news of their master's death, the dancers would be able to perform. But they did appear on stage and they did dance with the greatest commitment. The spectacle "Nefes", or "Breath" in Turkish, was full of keen emotion - a masterly tribute to Pina Bausch.
At the very last moment, we managed to obtain two archive documentaries about Pina Bausch and her theatre. We will see photos from many years ago, recordings of famous performances, but we will also learn about the process of their creation. In One Day Pina Asked Me (Un jour Pina a demandé), directed by Chantal Akerman (1983) and A Breath with Pina Bausch (Pina Bausch`la Bir Nefes - preparation of the spectacle, Nefes, directed by Huseyin Karabey, 2003) you can see her directing performances and working with actors, always with a cigarette in her hand. The film is edited from scenes which evoke the most characteristic motifs of Pina Bausch's art in the most expressive way. There are obsessive recurrences here, a celebration of gestures, a transfer of dance onto everyday activities. Even fragments of footage from changing rooms combine into a kind of spectacle with actors rhythmically putting face powder on or sitting down on chairs once and again. And there's a real parade of skills: the study with a dancer singing the famous song "The Man I Love".
We invite you to a special screening of documentaries about Pins Bausch:
1. Un jour Pina a demande (One Day Pina Asked Me), directed by Chantal Akerman, France / Belgium, 1983, 57'
2. A Breath with Pina Bausch (Pina Bausch`la Bir Nefes), directed by Huseyin Karabey, Turkey, 2005, 40'
Sunday, 2 August, at 4.00 p.m.,
Small Stage of Teatr Polski, ul. Świdnicka 28
Tickets for the screening cost 16 PLN (pass holders for free).
Agata Saraczyńska, "Gazeta Wyborcza"