Piña Bausch conveys an exhilarating cultural journey deep into the world of dance as a tribute to a renowned choreographer.

The film, Piña is a collaborative effort accompanied by the choreographer Pina Bausch in an attempt to ilustrate her dance on the big screen.

Film cover. Photo from Pina site.

Piña was filmed in three stages. The idea came from the amazing, Wim Wenders who was inspired and moved by seeing “Café Müller” by choreographer Piña Bausch for the first time in 1985 when the Tanztheater Wuppertal performed in Venice. Wenders then sought to portray Piña Bausch’s unique art form from a movement, gesture, speech and music into film. The new generation of digital 3D cinema helped  to escalte the film into a reality.

Through the production phase, the work was successful until suddenly Piña Bausch died on June 30th 2009. With this unexpected tragedy,  the Tanztheater Wuppertal in Berlin mourned the death of the great choreographer and made them question whether to continue to make the film or not. Eventually, the project resumed.

After a period of mourning and reflection, lots of encouragement allowed several people starting with international appeals, the consent of the family, and the request of staff and dancers of the ensemble who rehearsed on many occassions to pursue the film production.  The theatre made sure that every gestures and movement of hers resemeble the exact detail of her choreography was still alive and present and inscribed into the bodies of her dancers.

The new film concept includes excerpts from Bausch’s four productions of “Café Müller”, “Le Sacre du printemps”, “Vollmond” and “Kontakthof” incorporating lots of  creative and imaginative short solo performances by the dancers of the ensemble. This was difficult to achieve yet as Wender posed questions dancers replied with improve dance rather than verbal communication which made the movement results even more inspiring from their flowing body language.

The official selection was shown at the Berlin, Telluride, Toronto and New York Film Festivals. The film was even selected as the German entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards and won an award for European Best Film as a documentary. The film is now in theaters and viewings commenced yesterday at the IFC Center in New York. The film is not rated and prolongs for 106 Minutes in English and German. Enjoy!

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