film December 1, 2011 By Sophie Mollart

126 Wim Wenderstitle73 Wim WendersThe tip tap of dripping water, the vibrations of sinuous, graceful shapes duelling with the containers of water they will scatter across the stage in the quicksilver, freestyle manner of a troop of nimble Jackson Pollocks – these are the dancers of Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal. Later, the dancers will, in turn, swim breast stroke through the stream emblazoned upstage, to the vital, haunting compositions of Jun Miyake.
At the time of her death in December 2009, Bausch was set to be the subject of a documentary directed by her long time friend, filmmaker Wim Wenders. Wenders described to PLANET first encountering Bausch’s work a quarter of a century ago: It was a big day in my life. I was quite unprepared – like many people, I thought dance didn’t concern me. I’d seen some classic dance and was not touched by it, so I didn’t expect much, I tried to resist it, but my girlfriend insisted – so I caved in and was ready for a boring evening, but after about five minutes I found myself on the edge of my seat weeping uncontrollably. I realized this was big, that I’d just discovered something that was really going to change my life. It wasn’t like anything I thought dance could be – it was immediate and contagious and physical and direct – my body understood it before my brain understood it.

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