Pina | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


This film offers a beautifully produced selection of dance works by Pina Bausch


Wim Wenders' film is a eulogy of sorts for German modern-dance performer and choreographer Pina Bausch. They had been collaborating on a film when she died unexpectedly, in 2009. But be forewarned: Pina isn't a documentary. You won't learn anything about Bausch except that she encouraged her troupe of dancers and sat at a desk. 


Instead, Wenders shoots a number of dance sequences, briefly intercut with reminiscences from Bausch's dancers. (There is a tiny amount of archival footage of Bausch dancing.) Among the works is Bausch's piece for Stravinksy's "The Rite of Spring," an electrifying, almost-feral work set in stage of dirt, and the unsettling dance-theater work "Café Muller," in which a "blind" dancer navigates a room of tables and chairs. Wenders shot other works in unconventional locations such as a factory, an elevated train and a median strip, or with curious props.

This is a gorgeous film: Wenders shot in 3-D, and though this screening is in 2-D, the field of depth is perceptible and the images dramatically framed. It is visual treat for admirers of modern dance, or for those open to experiencing it, without much context. In various languages, with subtitles. Manor (Al Hoff)

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