I recently discovered that a second Pina Bausch film was released this year. The big one, of course, is the all-dancing 3D film by Wim Wenders, Pina, which is truly spectacular but lacks one thing, the living presence of Pina, except for a brief moment. In Dancing Dreams Pina is still alive.
About 30 years ago she choreographed a piece called Kontakthof, 'courtyard of contact', about a dance hall and the people who gather there. The music is varied but there's quite a bit of German tango from the 1930s. Later she revised the piece using non-dancers, ordinary people over the age of 65. Dancing Dreams is a record of the making of a third version with high school students from Wuppertal. It's a straightforward TV 'making of' film, talking to the students about themselves, to the teachers, watching how, over a year, once a week, the teenagers put together a public performance. They grow visibly in the course of the year, and it's wonderful to see how one person's vision can change lives. The performance was premiered shortly before Pina's death, and came to the Barbican in London.
Dancing Dreams is my favourite of the two films, less spectacular and more intimate, and moreover Pina is at the heart of it. There are extracts on YouTube. This is the only version of the trailer with English subtitles, but sadly the aspect ratio is wrong. The film with English subtitles is available from Amazon and is available to rent on LOVEFILM.
The company is putting on 12 full-length pieces in London next June, but it's already late if you want tickets. I booked in September, and if the theatre plans are accurate I got the last seats for the two performances I booked.
The variety of her work is extraordinary.
If you happen to watch the trailer for Dancing Dreams, you might spot that the serious teacher who instructs the teenagers is the much younger dancer in the second of these clips...