Pina Bausch  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Philippine "Pina" Bausch (July 27, 1940 – June 30, 2009) was a modern dance choreographer and a leading influence in the development of the Tanztheater style of dance.

Bausch began dancing from a young age. In 1955 she began studying at the Folkwang Academy in Essen directed by Germany's then most influential choreographer Kurt Jooss, one of the founders of German Expressionist dance. After graduation she won a scholarship to continue her studies at the Juilliard school in New York City in 1960, with her teachers including Anthony Tudor, José Limón, and Paul Taylor. In New York she performed with the Paul Sanasardo and Donya Feuer Dance Company, the New American Ballet, and became a a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company.

In 1962, Bausch joined Kurt Jooss's new Folkwang Ballett Company as a soloist and assisted Jooss on many of the pieces, before choreographing her first piece in 1968, and in 1969 succeeded Jooss as artistic director. In 1972, Bausch started as artistic director of the then Wuppertal Opera Ballet ( later renamed the "Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch)."

Her work is also known for infusing humor with sadness. Male-female interaction is a theme found throughout her work, which has been an inspiration for—and reached a wider audience through—the movie Talk to Her, directed by Pedro Almodovar. Her pieces are constructed of short units of dialogue and action, often of a surreal nature. Repetition is an important structuring device. Her large multi-media productions often involve elaborate sets and eclectic music. For example, in Masurca Fogo half the stage is taken up by a giant, rocky hill, and the score includes everything from Portuguese music to K. D. Lang.

She was married to Dutch-born Rolf Borzik, a set and costume designer who died in 1980. Borzik had strongly influenced the visual style of the Tanztheater from the very beginning and crucially supported Bausch though the early years until the company began to receive international recognition shortly before his death. They had one son, Salomon.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pina Bausch" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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