Gigs, dance, art

January 25th, 2009: Pina Bausch – Sweet Mambo

@theatre de la ville

Now that was a long pause. I’m still not ready to go back to my gig going ways, but that should not be too long now. Pina Bausch isn’t a bad way to get going again, familiar but somehow a little new every time. No travel postcard this time, and that’s fine with me. No dissing those, but it was getting a bit too predictable and sometimes the local details would get in the way. This show marked the 30th anniversary of her regular stops in this theatre my it was only(?) the 17th show for me. Not the one I saw most often, actually, but still, that’s a lot.

I got a front row seat on the side this time, which would often be very poor, but it was actually OK. As usual, most of the time there would be a single dancer on stage, and it gave me an unobstructed view, and the closeness had me focusing on the hands. Now that was interesting, as they sometimes would kinda strike a different note than the overall movement did. Bringing a kind of edginess through angles constrasting with a more fluid body. This edge has always been there just below the surface, but here most of the usual goofiness was gone, and there were fewer smiles. The beginning was familiar enough, with Regina Advento wielding a tibetan bowl, and there sure were those props as well sometimes, but most of the time there was just dance. And that was a good thing, and I don’t know whether the unfamiliar angle played a part in this, but it seemed a bit different too, I didn’t get that annoying feeling it was something from an earlier show.

Of course the flirting was still there, but with a more obvious tinge of desparation to it, and overall those sequences were few. Less interactions, more apparent loneliness, but on the other hand each solo had a deeper connection to the others. At the end of the day it felt more cohesive despite the almost complete lack of group sequences. A striking sequence had two men carry a table back and forth, picking up a female dancer along the way, but not carrying her so much than hemming her in, blocking her movements and barely letting her rise up after sliding under it before coming back. There also was a sequence where female dancers would lounge on human seats, but that kind of support was not really the theme this time. I guess seeing connection in lone individuals is in the eyes of the beholder, but it sure felt darker without hopelessness, and that was good as far as I’m concerned, I always have a hard time relating to the upscale party scenes that sometimes come up in her work, and there was almost none of that here. Less talk, less acting, more dancing. Where do I sign up for seventeen more?

In the soundtrack department, some Portishead and most striking for me some Ryuichi Sakamoto from his ’96 piano/cello/violin record. I didn’t expect that one, it brought back many memories.

January 27, 2009 - Posted by | Dance | ,

1 Comment »


    Comment by jfp | January 28, 2009 | Reply

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