Arlene Croce (The New Yorker), once descibed Pina Bausch as, '...a pornographer of pain'. What do you think she meant by that and do you agree? (You might like to consider the differences between Bausch's early and late work?)
Pina Bausch is seen as one of the most influential figures in dance of the 20th century, as well as influencing film directors, theatre practitioners, designers, actors and many Choreographers her career has been full of controversy as her work depicts anger, violence love and shame which can leave audience members feeling disturbed and exhausted by the end of her performances. One critic Arlene Croce described Bausch’s work as ‘pornography of pain’ another critic Alan Kriegsman said ‘the unsettling thing about Bausch's work, despite its originality and mastery, is that it leaves one unsure of where she stands in the moral spectrum’ both critics were commenting on the same tour in New York in 1984. Bausch receives harsh criticism for her work as she does not follow the conventions of classical dance, Bausch trained in classical ballet but her vision reached much further and her theatrical ideas led to the start of Tanzthatre were techniques were drawn from Brecht and Stanivslasky.
Bausch’s early work was based on operas and ballets such as Stravinsky’s 1913 ‘Rite of Spring’. Bausch created her own version of this in 1973 but she did not follow the conventions of the original narrative, instead she used the narrative as a guide to which she adapted and based it on personal experiences ‘to create presentational movement patterns formed from emotive gestures and derived from a response to, rather than in service of, formal story structures.’ (David Best 1974) The piece she created involved the dancers dragging themselves through mud on stage, impurifying their innocence, ‘visibly muddying their white slips until everything is a murky brown’. (Royd Climenhaga 2009). This piece is full of metaphors; the young girl is chosen as...
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