“Even as a spectator sitting in the audience she brought out the best in me, in us. She let us see and understand things to which no other art had opened our eyes before: She showed us another way to overcome our fears and to not feel imprisoned in our bodies any more.” —Wim Wenders on Pina Bausch at her memorial ceremony
German director Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, Paris, Texas, The American Friend) was bowled over when he first saw a performance by Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in 1985. He and Bausch, one of the greatest innovators in modern dance, became close friends, and the pair had long-standing plans to collaborate on a film. However, Wenders felt that film couldn’t adequately capture the vitality of her work—until he considered the use of 3-D technology after seeing U2-3D. Tragically, Bausch died unexpectedly at age 68 in 2009, two days before production was to begin. Wenders was inclined to abandon the project, but her family and company dancers convinced him to make a film for and about her.
In Pina, viewers are transported to the heart of the Tanztheater Wuppertal as the company performs excerpts from four landmark Bausch productions: Café Müller, Le Sacre du printemps, Vollmond, and Kontakthof. Wenders (the subject of a 1991 Regis Dialogue and Retrospective) also includes archival footage, and passages in which he adapts Bausch’s legendary “questioning” technique, inviting her dancers to express their memories of the choreographer in solos filmed in and around Wuppertal, Germany. “Wenders has made a worthy tribute…through achingly heartfelt performances, using 3-D technology’s enhanced depth of field to capture the depth of feeling ever-present in Bausch’s work” (Empire). A sensual, visually stunning exploration of her artistry, Pina captures the thrill of a live show by her company, which has never appeared in Minnesota. 2011, DCP 3-D, 106 minutes.
Pina will open February 10 at the AMC Eden Prairie and the ICON at the West End.