‚Äď 30 June 2009
) was a German modern
and a leading
influence in the development of the Tanztheater
style of dance.
"Pina" Bausch was born in Solingen, near
D√ľsseldorf, the third and youngest child of August and Anita
Bausch, who owned a caf√© attached to a small hotel.
began dancing from a young age. In 1955 she entered the Folkwangschule in Essen, then
directed by Germany's most influential choreographer Kurt Jooss, one of the founders of German
graduation, she won a scholarship to continue her studies at the
School in New York
City in 1960, where her teachers included Anthony Tudor, Jos√© Lim√≥n, and Paul Taylor.
In New York
she performed with the Paul Sanasardo and Donya Feuer Dance
Company, the New American Ballet
and became a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company
In 1962, Bausch joined Jooss' new Folkwang Ballett Company
soloist and assisted Jooss on many of the pieces, before
choreographing her first piece in 1968, and in 1969 succeeded Jooss
as artistic director. In 1972, Bausch started as artistic director
of the then Wuppertal Opera Ballet, which was later renamed as the
Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch
. The company has
a large repertoire of original pieces, and regularly tours
throughout the world.
Male-female interaction is a theme found throughout her work, which
has been an inspiration for‚ÄĒand reached a wider audience
through‚ÄĒthe movie Talk to Her
directed by Pedro Almod√≥var
Her pieces are constructed of short units of dialogue and action,
often of a surreal nature. Repetition is an important structuring
device. Her large multi-media productions often involve elaborate
sets and eclectic music. In Masurca Fogo
half of the stage
is taken up by a giant, rocky hill, and the score includes
everything from Portuguese music to K.
In 1983, she played the role of La Principessa Lherimia in Federico Fellini
's film And the Ship Sails On
Bausch was married to Dutch-born Rolf Borzik, a set and costume
designer who died of leukemia in 1980. In 1981 Ronald Kay became
her life-long companion and was the father of her son, Rolf.
honours awarded to Bausch are the UK's Laurence Olivier Award and
Japan's Kyoto Prize, while in 2008 the city of Frankfurt-am-Main awarded her its prestigious Goethe Prize.
died of an unstated form of cancer in Wuppertal five days after diagnosis.
She is survived
by her son Rolf and her partner.
Pina Bausch's Cravos,
- Daily Telegraph quote: Pina Bausch, the German
dancer and choreographer ... was the most influential figure in
European contemporary dance for the past 30 years, creating a
much-imitated fusion of radical theatre, surreal art, sexual drama
and danced body language, known as Tanztheater.
- New York Times Pina Bausch, German
Choreographer, Dies at 68
- The Independent Pina Bausch: Dancer and
choreographer whose seminal work gave an unsettling view of the
- Los Angeles Times Pina Bausch dies at 68;
innovative German choreographer
- The Guardian Pina Bausch 1940-2009, quote: We
have lost dance's most visionary, influential figure, who redrew
the map of the theatre arts.
- The Guardian Farewell to Pina Bausch, the
dangerous magician of modern dance
- The Guardian Pina Bausch tributes: "She got the
keys to your soul"
- l'Humanit√© The Death of the German
Choreographer Pina Bausch
- l'Humanit√© Pina Bausch, She Who Made Dance