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Pina Bausch (27 July 1940 ‚Äď 30 June 2009) was a German modern dance choreographer and a leading influence in the development of the Tanztheater style of dance.


Philippine "Pina" Bausch was born in Solingenmarker, near D√ľsseldorfmarker, the third and youngest child of August and Anita Bausch, who owned a caf√© attached to a small hotel.Bausch began dancing from a young age. In 1955 she entered the Folkwangschulemarker in Essenmarker, then directed by Germany's most influential choreographer Kurt Jooss, one of the founders of German Expressionist dance.

After graduation, she won a scholarship to continue her studies at the Juilliard Schoolmarker in New York Citymarker in 1960, where her teachers included Anthony Tudor, José Limón, 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 as a 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. D. Lang.

In 1983, she played the role of La Principessa Lherimia in Federico Fellini's film And the Ship Sails On.

Personal life

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.


Among the honours awarded to Bausch are the UK's Laurence Olivier Award and Japan's Kyoto Prize, while in 2008 the city of Frankfurt-am-Mainmarker awarded her its prestigious Goethe Prize.


Bausch died of an unstated form of cancer in Wuppertalmarker five days after diagnosis. She is survived by her son Rolf and her partner.


Pina Bausch's Cravos, 2005.Image:Cravos01.jpg|Image:Cravos02.jpg|Image:Cravos03.jpg|



  • 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 human condition
  • 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 Speak

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