Pina Bausch: Café Müller & The Rite of Spring

I knew when I saw the stage hands spreading dirt on the floor during intermission that I was in for yet another one of Pina Bausch’s elemental works of choreography — and by elemental, I do mean the elements: earth, air, fire and water. This was not my first time seeing Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch perform, but it was my first time seeing a dance performance set to Igor Stravinsky’s edgy, ground-breaking 1913 composition entitled The Rite of Spring. There were no riots in the audience last night during this incredible performance at Brooklyn Academy of Music, just wild applause and standing ovations for what was one of the most primal, savage, wildly thrilling — almost gut-wrenchingly vulnerable — dance performances I have ever seen. I lost count of the curtain calls, and now I am pretty certain I am spoiled for any other choreographer’s version of The Rite of Spring. The evening began, however, with another one of Pina Bausch’s poignant pieces, entitled Café Müller, where dancers express loneliness, isolation, and the yearning to connect in the language of dance unique to Pina Bausch’s intensely human and emotionally expressive choreography.

Pina Bausch The Rite of Spring
Prepping for Pina Bausch’s The Rite of Spring at Brooklyn Academy of Music on Thursday, September 14, 2017

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