Friday 4 November 2011

Worshipping at the Altar of Dance

"Dance, dance...otherwise we are lost."

Whether you love dance as a practice in itself, or possess a latent desire to express yourself, I could not reccomend this film enough.

But is it a film, is it a documentary? I can tell you what PINA is not: It is not a chronological nor literally biographical depiction of Pina Bausch's life and carrer.

PINA is in fact a fitting, moving and inspirational tribute to one of the major figures in (contemporary) dance in the world. A woman who has broken the boundaries and influenced the worlds of dance and theatre - and will continue to do so on the years to come.

This film was originally intended to be a joint effort between film maker Wim Wenders and Pina Bausch herself. Her unsuspected passing charges the documentary, especially through the genuine grief on many of her dancers' commentaries. And yet, even under the palpable longing for Pina' strength and presence, the film succeeds at being alternatively light hearted and passionate in equal measure.

It's said no one was really aware of Pina's health condition until the time of her death. It can be said then that whatever is visible from Pina inner world it is so through her art alone.

Her dancers enable the external manifestation of her inner landscape; a snapshot from a distant but colourful land perhaps. A land paved at times with water, sand or lunar surfaces; populated with chairs, arms outstretched, embraces, whispers and fall from grace. Tight dresses, suits, torsos, legs, arms, blood. Nakedness, expansion and restraint. For me persnally, these are enough reasons to encourage the witnessing of Pina Bausch's fortitude.

And if after watching it you don't feel like dancing, you might at least feel like you should be living your life more fully.

PINA by Wim Wenders is out now on DVD. For more information, interviews and clips, visit the movie's official website by clicking on this post's title.

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In this blog I intend to do some historical justice to the many, many women who have contributed with their genius, creativity, adventurous spirit, nurturing - amongst other qualities - to the apparent linear and male dominated prescribed notion of History. This is just the beggining.