Image credit www.mubi.com
W im Wenders movie “PINA”, currently showing at the Coral Gables Cinema, is a powerful movie about the about the late, innovative choreographer Pina Bausch’s work, the incredible artistic power of the artists she assembled and nurtured, and about dance, performance, and aesthetic principles that will almost certainly serve as signposts for the way the last century ended and the new one began.
Last Friday’s opening night, February 18th, was marked by a dance solo in homage by Miami dancer / choreographer Octavo Campos, who worked with Bausch in Germany in the 1990’s, and a live online message from Director Wim Wenders who was then in Seattle, but scheduled to be at the Coral gables Cinema now – on Sunday – for a question and answer session.
Octavio’s solo presentation was personal and moving, and a fine entry point for Wenders’ explanation of the 20 years it took to create PINA, from conception to filming: all because he felt that there was no way he could use cinemas to present the way that Bausch’s work had, as he said, completely changed his life. He concluded that the issue was a question of contrived cinematic space, and the way Choreography, and perhaps particularly Bausch’s work, exploit the incredible power of 3 Dimensional space and body volume in complex ways that defy 2 Dimensional representation.
He concluded that using 3-D technology would be the way to go and so on Friday, we all donned glasses usually associated with CGI Sci-Fi to experience an incredibly serious exploration of the figure of Pina Bausch, and the artists, many associated with her for upwards of 20 years.
Image credit www.theasc.com
The film intersperses extended bits of Bausch’s many famous Pieces, vignettes of her artists performing what appear to be self-choreographed, highly personal solos, often in forests, on urban transport, alongside canals, or in fantastical architectural environments. Imbued with the artistic depth of the dancers themselves they compose a kind of structural representation of Bausch’s work – deeply personal explorations of individual and collective turmoil, desire, fear, mortality, and above all love and vulnerability - assembled in what has to be one of the most complex collaborations ever achieved.
This viewer was left feeling that the performances he had seen in New York and Paris were like the crumbs of a magnificent and on going banquet that took place in Wupoperthal Germany for so many years. It was Pina Bausch and her extraordinary and relentless vision that assembled these artists, kept them together, and helped them, by their own accounts, to go beyond limits, fears and boundaries, to create, collectively, an oeuvre that so deserves the acclaim that it universally receives. This movie is a very worthwhile event. Don’t miss it.
This post was contributed by David Rohn.