Pina Bausch, German choreographer and dancer, dies
Leading light of modern dance Pina Bausch has died at 68, five days after being diagnosed with cancer
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 30 June 2009 17.02 BST
The German choreographer and dancer Pina Bausch died this morning at the age of 68, five days after being diagnosed with cancer.
Bausch was the artistic director of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, which she founded in 1973. She had a formidable international reputation as one of modern dance's greatest innovators. Her dance-theatre works include the melancholic Café Müller (1978), in which dancers stumble around the stage crashing into tables and chairs, and a thrilling Rite of Spring (1975), which required the stage to be completely covered with soil. Nelken (2005) was performed on a floor covered in flowers, while Palermo Palermo (1989) featured a line of dancers with apples balanced on their heads. Another of her works, Kontakthof (1978), was performed by an ensemble aged between 58 and 77.
Excerpts from Bausch's Café Müller and another of her works, Masurca Fogo, reached a wider audience when they were featured in Pedro Almodóvar's film Talk to Her (2002). Bausch also appeared in Federico Fellini's 1983 film And the Ship Sails On. In recent months, she had been preparing a 3-D cinema project with Wim Wenders; shooting was slated to commence in September.
Bausch continued to perform as a dancer throughout her 60s. Her company last visited the UK in 2008 for a sold-out series of performances, drawing long queues for returns at Sadler's Wells in London. Guardian critic Judith Mackrell gave the show a five-star review, praising Bausch's ability to "combine movement of shocking visceral intensity with stage visions of often hallucinogenic strangeness".
Alistair Spalding, artistic director of Sadler's Wells, said today: "She was an artist of the kind that the world is only blessed with from time to time. Her repertoire of works has inspired generations of audiences and artists with an impact that is hard to overestimate. She was a dear friend to me and I will miss her greatly. There is now a big hole in my life, and that of countless others. My thoughts at this time are with Ronald her husband, Rolf her son, and her other family, the members of the Tanztheater Wuppertal who must be deeply traumatised by this loss."
According to a statement on Tanztheater Wuppertal's official website, Bausch took her last bow on the Wuppertal stage the Sunday before last.
Luke Jennings “Pina Bausch” http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/jul/01/pina-bausch-obituary-dance
Bidisha “Pina Bausch, a genius of dance” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jul/01/pina-bausch-dance
“Wim Wenders: Pina Bausch Is Dead” http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/jul/01/wim-wenders-pina-bausch-is-dead