Over the 36 years in which Pina Bausch (1940—2009) shaped the work of Tanztheater Wuppertal, she created an œuvre that casts an unerring gaze at reality, while simultaneously giving us the courage to be true to our own wishes and desires. Bausch was appointed director of dance for the Wuppertal theater in 1973. The form she developed in those early years was wholly unfamiliar. In her performances the players did not merely dance; they spoke, sang, laughed, and cried. Dance-theater evolved into a unique genre, inspiring choreographers across the globe and influencing theater and all forms of dance in the process. Its success can be attributed to the fact that Bausch made a universal human need the key subject of her work—the need for love, intimacy, and emotional security. Bausch's unique ensemble, now led by Artistic Director Boris Charmatz (with the joint leadership of Managing Director Roger Christmann), maintains Bausch's groundbreaking artistic vision.
Photo: © Ursula Kaufman