Friday, March 14, 2008
Shiley Theater, Camino Hall
The Inamori Foundation's 23rd Annual Kyoto Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Philosophy was presented to Pina Bausch in 2007.
Pina Bausch is an influential modern dance choreographer whose style blends elements of theater and dance into mesmerizing meditations that touch both dancers and audiences deeply.
Bausch was born in Solingen, Germany, in 1940.
In 1955, Bausch began study at the Folkwang Academy in Essen. The academy was directed by Kurt Joos, one of the founders of German Expressionist dance. Bausch continued her studies at the Julliard School in New York City in 1960. In New York she performed with the Paul Sanasardo and Donna Feuer Dance Company, the New American Ballet, and became a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company.
In 1962, Bausch became a soloist with the Folkwang Ballet Company, where she choreographed her first piece in 1968. She succeeded Joos as artistic director in 1969. In 1972, Bausch became artisitic director of the Wuppertal Opera Ballet, now known as the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch.
Bausch, known as "the uncrowned empress of modern dance" (Newsweek), constructs dances by using repetition as a counterbalance for meaning. Simple gestures repeated become a movement, the movement becomes a phrase, and then a dance. The dance progresses by starting a phrase as a solo, then adding dancers until the entire company, sometimes more than 20 dancers, joins together.
Bausch's work has found a broad audience, including those introduced to her work through the movie Talk to Her, directed by Pedro Almodovar. Her multi-media productions often include elaborate sets and intriguing music.