Pina Bausch Wuppertal Tanz Theater

The first time I saw Pina Bausch’s work was on an exceptionally hot night in June, 1984 at BAM.  There was no air conditioning.  I sat riveted by “Blue Beard.”  Years later, we were hired by a consortium of west coast presenters to handle her press for a California tour in 1996.  I went to Wupperthal, the Bausch company’s home –and the home of Bayer Aspirin– to see the world premiere.  I also got to sit next to Pina at dinner, which was a surprise and a scary pleasure. Her hair was, as always, tightly pulled back, inadvertently highlighting her high cheekbones.  She was so soft spoken I had to lean over to catch her words. Her gorgeous long fingers made smoking her endless chain of cigarettes appear as elegant as a 1950’s Vogue photo.  At a night club in Los Angeles months later, she seduced an older man, her former New York City ballet teacher Alfredo Corveno, to dance with her.  Corveno was significantly shorter than her, but together they looked sexy as hell.  Her warmth surprised me, as did her willingness to be interviewed for a The New York Times Arts & Leisure story, as well as pieces for the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle.  Jack Anderson, then a dance critic for The New York Times, flew out to review its premiere.  It was her first site-inspired piece in the United States.

Country: Germany

Years: 1996

Art form: Dance