…como el musguito en la piedra, ay si, si, si…(Like moss on a stone)
Sadler’s Wells Theatre Rosebery Avenue EC1R 4TN To 13 June 2012.
Runs: 2hr 40min One interval.
TICKETS 0844 412 4300.
(See also Barbican: www.barbican, org.uk)
Review: Carole Woddis 13 June.
A glory and a wonder.
Is it dance? Is it performance? Is it theatre?
During her lifetime, German choreographer Pina Bausch became iconic. With her committed group of dancers at Tanztheater Wuppertal, she created visceral atmospheres, somewhere between dance and theatre. Her dancers didn’t just move, they spoke words. When she died the world of modern dance mourned a lost giant.
So this festival, at Sadler’s Wells and the BarbIcan (running to 23 July, and sold out), celebrating ten of her works, offers a rare and delicious feast for dance lovers.
Collectively entitled ‘World Cities 2012’, each Bausch piece has been inspired by a particular international city. …como el musguito en la piedra, ay, si, si, si… (‘Like moss on a stone’) was created after Bausch and her company stayed in Santiago. Chilean and South American references are everywhere. Not flashily so, but distinctively in the music, in the vividness of the colours of the female costumes – each one an exquisite flowing river of silk or satin texture – and of course in the choreography.
The surprise, however, for anyone familiar with the Bausch style and who, like me, remembers it for its harshness and bodies pitting themselves against environments, is the limpid softness and beauty here.
Of course it carries political undertones. The opening – a young woman on all fours, howling like a dog as first one man then another attempts to move her – immediately pulls you into a world of brutal and sexual realism in a country whose recent history has seen more than its fair share of military dictatorship and human rights abuses.
Gradually, women become more dynamic controllers of their own destinies with movement that etches itself on the memory by its grace. While the male solos involve spins and ever increasing speed, the women envelop space with arm and lower body extensions that fused with their flowing skirts become seamless waves of sinuosity.
Sometimes Bausch’s choreography can appear repetitive. Then, with a sudden subtle gesture – a brush of a hand, a flick of the wrist – providing an ironic, humorous aside, she’ll jolt you back in your seat with the shock of the unexpected.
Dancers: Pablo Aran Gimeno, Rainer Behr, Damiano Ottavio Bigi, Ales Cucek, Clementine Deluy, Silvia Farias Heredia, Ditta Miranda Jasjfi, Nayoung Kim, Eddie Martinez, Dominique Mercy, Thusnelda Mercy, Morena Nascimento, Azusa Seyama, Fernando Suels Mendoza, Anna Wehsarg, Tsai-Chin Yu.
Director/Choreographer: Pina Bausch.
Designer: Peter Pabst.
Costume: Marion Cito.
Music: Cicilia, Congreso, Rodrigo Covacevich, Victor Jara, Magdalena Matthey, Mecánica Popular, Violeta Parra, Chico Trujillo, Maruicio Vivencio, The Alexander Balanescu Quartett, Bonobo, Cinemtic Orchestra, Count Basic, Carl Craig and Moritz von Oswald, Matthew Herbert, Kruder and Dorfmeister, Jean Pierre Magnet, Russel Mills, Daniel Melingo, Madeleine Peyroux, David Sylvian, Amon Tobin, Manuel Wandji, Bugge Wesseltoft, Alexander Zekke.
Musical Collaboration: Mathias Burkert, Andreas Eisenschneider.
Collaboration: Marion Cito, Daphnis Kokkinos, Robert Sturm.
…como el musguito en la piedra, ay si, si, si… (‘Like moss on a stone’).
A piece by Pina Bausch in co-production with Festival International de Teatro Santiago a Mil in Chile and the support of Goethe-Institut Chile in co-operation with Andrew Neumann International.
World premiere: 12 June 12 2009 at Wuppertal Opera House.
British premiere: 12-13June 2012 at Sadlers Wells Theatre, London
In association with Cultural Industry,
Part of the London 2012 Festival.