PINA BAUSCH: MEN LIKE ANY OTHER

Without a doubt the greatest European choreographer of the second half of the twentieth century, Pina Bausch showed bodies like no other. Between theater and dance, Bausch invents a new form. Each element becomes a gesture: beating, hair, cloth.  

If Bausch preferred the ascetic anonymity of the black Yamamoto for herself, she made daring use of clothing on stage. In The Rite of Spring, ample black trousers; then, from Café Müller onwards, wide shirts, drooping shoulders, morning trousers. 

With Kontakthof begins a focused reflection on the suit. Often double-breasted and charcoal grey, Bausch turns men’s clothing into a set of gestures: undoing a knit tie, tying one’s shoes, doing the inner button of one’s jacket, tucking in one’s shirt, loosening one’s belt. Tails, heeled loafers, poulaines, a boiled-wool admiral’s coat. 

Bausch looks for breaking points: waists, screams, ankles, cries, wrists, flights. Battered waistcoats, rolled-up sleeves. Braces and round lapels, dry bodies and ample signs.  

Shortly before her death, Pina Bausch chose to stage Kontakthof at a secondary school. Most of the boys had never worn suits. One of them confesses: “My body is too big for me”. Pina Bausch offers this vast fitting room: mending one’s body like a suit, one’s suit like a body. 

Adolescents dance Kontakthof 2008

Adolescents dance. Kontakthof 2008

Bamboo Blues. created. 2007

Bamboo Blues. 2007.

Café Müller, created 1978

Café Müller. 1978.

Costume worn by Dominique Mercy in Kontakthof, created 1978

Costume worn by Dominique Mercy. Kontakthof. 1978.

Costume-worn-by-Jan-Minarík-in-The-Second-Spring_-created-1976

Costume worn by Jan Minarík. The Second Spring. 1976.

Kontakthof, created 1978

Kontakthof. 1978.

Poster for Nelken, created 1982

Poster for Nelken. 1982.

Tanzabend-II_-created-1991

Tanzabend-II. 1991.

The Rite of Spring, created 1975

The Rite of Spring. 1975.

Poster for Bandoneon, created 1980

Poster for Bandoneon. 1980.

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