last night in the rain we drove out to brooklyn BAM to see PINA
the Wim Wenders 3D film on Pina Bausch work with Tanztheater Wuppertal. I’ve had the extreme pleasure of seeing the company perform at BAM during the Next Wave festival . My first ever experience seeing Pina’s work was the Rite of Spring at BAM which blew me away.
at that time i was working with Ralph Holmes on Guiding Light for Procter & Gamble on CBS. Ralph lit Dance In America for PBS for years and was considered the preeminent television dance Lighting Director. oh did i say we share an Emmy together. not to take anything away from Jennifer Tipton whom i also worked with, nor any of the other designers who worked on this series
I would tell him about the company, actually rave about the company and Next Wave to him. he would smile nod his head in acknowledgment of our shared love of dance and go about his work. he was a wonderful teacher and i sought his guidance, as we shared sets going from his studio to mine as to how he lit it to keep the show consistent.
but i digress from lasts night experience. I had apprehensions about seeing a 3D movie which i hadn’t seen since i was a kid remembering , PHANTOM IN THE RUE MORGUE in 3D with heads flying, corpses falling in ones lap.but we were quite surprised at the intimacy the 3D achieved with dance.
the movie starts i think with Rite of Spring after a few spoken words (see link for short opening sequence.) and it just doesn’t stop going from one piece to another interspaced between with dancer reminiscences of Pina, how she communicated with them.
what struck me was the phrase ‘when words end, DANCE’ or something like that. another piece in the film was Cafe Muller which again on seeing it at BAM left me speech less. so simple yet complex what did i think and i didn’t have a ready answer. dance theater that made you think. whoa nellie.
don’t know if you can tell how much i love dance, as a child i would dance in front of our stand up radio in the living room when no one else was around and i loved the Fred Astair or Gene Kelly like ‘Singing In The Rain’ type movies it looked like so much fun. but i was buried in Schenectady with very little chance of breaking out, besides i was pretty young and wet behind the ears to wander world.
another Pina dance featured in the movie was Vollmond ( full Moon). Pina’s work is so sensual and the film captures that sensuality. the one disturbing aspect of the 3D technique is a slight loss of sharpness. after all you’re wearing these ill fitting glasses and it distracts a bit from the total presentations but not enough to keep people out of the theater.
This movie is playing 4 times a day through Monday 1/2
and 3 times Tuesday 1/3 through Thursday 1/5 at the BAM Rose Cinema $15 general admission but worth the price.