On their toes again: Sasha Waltz and Pina Bausch dance companies get a new start

Deutsche Welle
3 Min Read

New beginnings at two of Germany’s best-known dance companies as Sasha Waltz in Berlin and Adolphe Binder at the Pina Bausch ensemble in Wuppertal present new programs.Pina Bausch is one of Germany’s best known cultural exports. The dancer and choreographer, who died eight years ago, made a name for herself and her eponymous Wuppertal-based company worldwide. Following her death, several of the ensemble’s members left the company; however, nearly half of the 37 dancers who remain today once worked with Pina Bausch herself.

Adolphe Binder and the future of the Pina Bausch dance company

The Pina Bausch dance company has a new culture manager and dance curator since May, 48-year-old Adolphe Binder.

Binder comes to the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch after five years as the artistic director of the Gothenburg Danskompani, in Sweden. Among her other previous roles, she was artistic director of the ballet of Berlin’s Komische Oper as well as head dramatic advisor of the Deutsche Oper’s dance company.

In Wuppertal, Binder is now presenting her vision for the future. That includes pulling from the more than 40 pieces in Bausch’s choreographic repertoire that are available to the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch.

She will also carry on with guest appearances by the dance company in the US, Asia and across Europe.

Sasha Waltz returns to Berlin

Over in Berlin, there is talk of a new start for choreographer Sasha Waltz, who is premiering her first piece in 12 years. “Kreatur” features 14 dancers who grapple with questions of power and powerlessness in a divided society on stage at Berlin’s Radialsystem V venue.

The well-known lighting expert Urs Schönebaum will handle stage lighting while the musical trio behind “Soundwalk Collective” will provide the sounds to accompany the dancers. It’s a piece that the company Sasha Waltz & Guests has created in cooperation with the Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen.

Waltz has made peace with Berlin

Beginning in 2019-2020, Waltz will head the Staatsballett Berlin together with choreographer Johannes Öhman. The decision comes after disagreements between Sasha Waltz and the city of Berlin surrounding finances and the aesthetic direction of the dance ensemble bearing her name.

As a result, Waltz has spent much of the last several years working abroad. In collaboration with Öhman, the dancer has still been able to coordinate a program for Berlin that gives equal space to both classical ballet and modern dance.

jk/ct/eg (with dpa)

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