The other day my husband and I got our weekly Netflix movie. This time it was a movie I picked, Pina. I finally was able to land a copy of the documentary/movie about the famous and influential modern dance choreographer, Pina Bausch. I am sure my husband wasn’t as thrilled as I was, but being the best husband ever, he sat down and watched it with me. It was great to share Pina with him. While he has been exposed to a lot of dance, he did after all marry a dancer, he hadn’t seen anything as gutsy, eccentric, and edgy as the work of Pina Bausch.
Pina Bausch had a flair for drama, but yet, had a way to reach into your soul with the most simplest gestures. She could even move you with her costuming, use of props, or music contrast. Bausch gave new meaning to the word dance theater. She used water on stage, covered the stage with dirt, had people dance with eyes closed. Bausch even did site specific pieces (dance performance at a particular site, usually outdoors). Her work even had humor. She did it all.
While watching that movie, it made me realize why I love modern dance. In modern dance anything goes. As long as you do it with conviction, zeal, and thoughtfulness, you can create a piece that has meaning. Modern dance gives you no boundaries. It supports open mindedness in movement. It even encourages different ways of thinking about traditional technique, movement, and conventions.
In modern dance, I am free. Compared to classical ballet where I feel as if I have to stay inside this “classical box”; in modern dance, I get to play. I can take my ballet technique and add something extra. I can roll around on the floor, dance with no music… anything is possible.
This is why I love movies like Pina. It sheds a different light on modern dance. Modern dance is viewed as being “very out there”, “I won’t understand it”, or my favorite, “is it the same as interpretive dance?”. But when someone watches work as that is as emotional and as Pina Bausch’s work, it moves you from the inside out. Modern dance is no longer “out there”. It is relate able. Understandable. Modern dance is you. Modern dance is me. Bausch does what every choreographer no matter the genre wants to accomplish: the moving and stirring of the soul.
Rite of Spring
New meaning to living on the edge…
Trailer for the movie
A reel of some of her last work before her death
Find out more about Pina and Tanztheater here: http://www.pina-bausch.de/en/pina_bausch/index.php
P.S. I am in the process of growing out my hair as long her dancers. The love of my life thinks I will cut it off before it gets that long as I always do. But I really want hair that long….