Thursday, November 10, 2011


Although I have quite a few videos about ballet, I rarely pay much attention to them... There is just not enough time for everything. I was always intrigued about dance sequences in movies by talented directors. There is one that is very famous in the movie Hable Con Ella by Pedro Almodóvar, in which he showed a scene excerpted from "Cafe Mueller" by surrealist choreographer Pina Bausch (the scene with two sleep walkers and the chairs.) Being surreal (one can define it as marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream which may be unbelievable and fantastic at the same time,) on first blush, that kind of dance seems to be very strange, but once you pay close attention, you realize that there is something to it and you want to see more, perhaps by sheer curiosity. Recently, there is a newly released movie by Wim Wenders, who was made famous by his classic movie Wings of Desire. Wenders made this movie to eulogize her death and to honor Pina Bausch for her work. That 3D movie is named Pina, which is a feature-length dance film with the ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch who untimely died in the summer of 2009.

Wim Wenders' 1hr 46min documentary takes the audience straight onto the stage and follows the dancers out of the theatre into the city and the surrounding areas of Wuppertal - the place, which for 35 years, was Bausch's home. "Pina" had its world premiere at the Festival in Berlin in 2011, where it was highly appreciated. It was screened in Romanian cinemas starting in September of this year. Just last week, Wim Wenders attended a premiere during the 6th International Rome Film Festival on October 31, 2011 in Rome, Italy. He was also at the AFI Fest 2011 premiere of Pina held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California on May 11th, 2011. Ottawa will premiere Pina on November 22.

The clip below lasts 15 minutes and 37 seconds and it contains some scenes I selected from Pina which reflect my personal bias about this surreal art form. I think Bausch was very obsessed with visual art, gravity and repetitiveness... which makes me want more to see what she'll show next, and what the dancers will do to their bodies next. The scenes are quite surreal but at the same time quite beautiful... the dance energetic, stochastic, athletic but has its own beauty; and the music is just what I like too. The audio is in German and I am sorry I did not have the time to turn on the English subtitle. The strange group dance is to illustrate the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. The dialogue is sparse and it's easy to guess.

According to some critics, the 3D does add another dimension to the movie (of course, it's 3D) so watching my clip does not do justice to Wenders' work. If you like this kind of art and are curious, go see the entire movie in 3D. There is a lot more than what you see here.

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