PinaOriginal Title: Pina
Director: Wim Wenders
Germany, France | German, English, Italian, French, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish
The world’s first 3-D art house film, Wim Wenders’s gorgeous tribute to German choreographic genius Pina Bausch almost didn’t get made. In the summer of 2009, just before shooting was to begin on his documentary on Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal, which she had led since 1973, Bausch died unexpectedly. But after a period of mourning and reflection, Wenders decided to continue with the film and concentrate on Bausch’s legacy: her loyal dancers and her stunning dances.
A protégée of the legendary German choreographer Kurt Jooss, Bausch also studied in New York City under greats such as Antony Tudor, José Limón and the dancers of the Martha Graham Dance Company. As a performer she worked with Paul Taylor, Paul Sanasardo and Donya Feuer. Tudor hired her to work at the Metropolitan Opera, and this proximity to theater and music would later inspire her groundbreaking choreography: a blend of dreamlike, poetic images and the language of movement, informed by basic human emotions, including fears and needs as well as wishes and desires.
For those not familiar with Bausch’s background, this biographical data may be helpful, as the film itself is designated as being for Pina, rather than about her. In it, Wenders alternates a selection of extracts from newly staged mountings of her most famous productions – Café Mueller
, The Rite of Spring
– with one-on-ones with the members of her company who express their feelings about her with improvised dance, body language and solo performances in the iconic public spaces of Wuppertal.