Coming to theatres (in a limited release) on December 23rd is Wim Wenders’ documentary about Pina Bausch, the German-born modern dancer and choreographer who has influenced modern dancing since the Seventies.
I’ve seen the film and I can testify to this: Pina is quite simply gorgeous to watch. Bausch, as expected, is a bit of an eccentric bird but it’s all good. She delivers the goods and her Tanztheater, the performance style that she created as artistic thrust for her ballets, shines in all its greatness in Wenders’ documentary. One particularity about the Pina documentary is that Wenders shot it in 3-D.
Pina is the fruit of a very close collaboration between the filmmaker and the choreographer. After Pina Bausch’s sudden passing in 2009, Wenders continued with the project.
Visually striking, Pina uses 3-D to remarkable effect, taking the audience into Bausch’s work in her imaginative sets (a gliding monorail, a bare stage covered with chairs, a towering man-made waterfall) and displays the beauty and sheer physicality of the dances and dancers that form the Tanztheater Wuppertal ensemble.
So if you’re not a modern dance kind of person (rather like me) you should still go see this movie to see how 3-D can be put to use in a documentary setting—but the biggest plus about Pina is that Bausch’s Tanztheater is all-out, arresting modern dance like you’ve never imagined: it’s tribal without being savage, it’s completely unpredictable and jaw-droppingly original dancing. Don’t miss it!