Sunday, October 21, 2012

"... como el musguito en la piedra, ay si, si, si..."

This piece premiered in Wuppertal in June 2009. It was the final piece Pina Bausch created.

I remember feeling so much grief when Pina passed away (also in 2009). I wrote on here about it, it was the same week Dorrit Hoffleit (astronomer) passed. Tonight I saw Danztheater Wuppertal perform Pina's final piece at BAM. It was revelatory. It was the most minimal set of any of her work that I've seen live, though of course the design was very considered and simple and powerful. (It was a vast white floor that periodically, surreptitiously, broke apart like land masses turning to islands. Plate tectonics. Swaths of splintered darkness amidst the light.) Also, her sense of humor. She makes me laugh so much.
And the most beautiful women. In gowns but with their hair down-- and all that that suggests.
The piece began and ended with a woman on all fours. Down stage right at a 45 degree angle. Her hair cascading over the back of her head and falling on the floor. Men came and lifted her, working together they maintained her exact position even as she was over their heads. The only difference was whenever they lifted her she would bark like a dog. When she returned to the floor, she was silent and placid again. Pina consistently achieves my favorite possibilities of performance:
- evoking giant themes (the need for love, for intimacy, for emotional security, for freedom) with the lightest touch
- the sense of 'losing' your mind, of elevating the body, the spirit, the animal above the cerebral, the psychological
- humor in the most imaginative constructions
- communion/community

Thank you Pina. Always and forever.