Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal, whose riveting dance theater works took American audiences by storm when it made its United States debut at the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival in Los Angeles, will return to the American west where she will present a commissioned world premiere in four different locations: Berkeley, CA; Los Angeles; Tempe, AZ; and Austin, TX.
In an unprecedented alliance among six major cultural presenters in the American west– Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, the UCLA Center for the Performing Arts, James A. Doolittle’s Southern California Theatre Association, the Music Center of Los Angeles County, The University of Texas Performing Arts Center, and Arizona State University Public Events–the $1.2 million project represents the first time these organizations have pooled their financial and administrative resources to present a new work.
The new theater dance piece, inspired by Bausch’s observations and experiences in each of the cities of the sponsoring venues, marks her first work created outside of Europe. After a series of previews in Wuppertal, May 11-22, the work will have its world premiere at the University of California-Berkeley (October 3-5); it will then be performed in Los Angeles (October 10-12), Tempe (October 17), and Austin (October 22).
Bausch arrived in the United States on January 28 to begin a month of preparation for the new piece. Working between 6pm and 3am and accompanied by her scenic artist Peter Pabst and costume designers Marion Cito–Bausch plans to observe the people and multi-cultural life that characterizes the American west including jazz and Latin American music clubs, dance halls, shelters, churches, restaurants, etc.
While in residence in Los Angeles for three weeks, January 30-February 19, she and 25 of her performers will work on transforming her experiences into the new piece. Bausch’s other site-inspired works are: “Viktor” (1986); “Palermo, Palermo” (1989); “Tanzabend II” (1991) and “Ein Trauerspiel (A Mourning Play)” (1994).