Diana Rivera : Pina Bausch, Dance Theatre Performer/Choreographer
By Diana Rivera
Within the wave of sadness accompanying Michael Jackson's death, there was an equal swell permeating throughout the art world when it came to public awareness that Pina Bausch, the internationally respected dance theatre performer/choreographer from Germany, had passed at 68 on June 30th ("five days after being diagnosed with cancer," the UK Guardian). She was a symbol of a unique form of creative expression in dance and storytelling, referred to as Tanztheater or dance theatre, and she has inspired and challenged us, and now we commemorate her.
For practitioners of the performing arts, audiences of contemporary dance and her own collaborators including Pedro Almodovar and Wim Wenders, we understood that it was within her creative capacity to explore the deep dark and occasionally light filled layers of the human condition. She returned back to us with performances that immersed us psychologically, emotionally, mentally and physically to a heightened state of reflection and commentary, and we longed for more.
For many others who saw Almodovar's film "Talk to Her," they remember the dance piece seen by two of the main characters. That was Bausch's piece, "Café Müller" performed internationally.
As a creative individual, awarded around the world for her inspired artistry, Bausch reflected on humanity in her creative incubation. Jeff Lunden of NPR ran a story on her show, For the Children of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. She explained to him: "I always try to speak about all of us, about what we feel, about our same language, about our wishes, our hope, our desires, our fears, about love, about yes, being human and how beautiful each person is, and how fragile each person is... And I think all these together is what I have to say."
Her creativity reminds me of how unique the creative path is enveloped by deep and internal reflection of the human spirit. In our core state of wonderment, that reflection may take into consideration a variety of ideas, feelings, opinions, visions and experiences known to us and others. An aspect of Bausch's success to me is that she thought and felt so deeply about all of us, and knew that it was within her capacity to release that experience and allow catharsis for her viewers in the best way she knew how.
Pina's creativity resembles ours. As we reflect on our own experiences and delve into the human condition to build our work, we wish for equal success. In my opinion that success seems contingent on the depth of our reflection.
Points to Ponder:
Invite Pina or any other individual that has inspired you to be with in your creative inner realm. Invite them to your hour of reflective meditation and connect with their creative charge which is infinite! In this way, Pina, Michael Jackson, and anyone else you have looked to, can and will be part of your creative team and will live on to inspire, collaborate and advise. •
© 2009 Diana Rivera. All rights reserved.
Diana Rivera is a Performing Artist, Producer and Facilitator of drama, arts-integration in the classroom and creative empowerment coach. More »