Oh Pina, you esoterically creative movie you. You adequately use 3D. You let old people dance. I thought you were going to be just one dance piece after another but you also show the titular Pina Bausch teaching her company and those dancers whose lives she has touched. Here’s a media-heavy, pretentious are the movies/ dances/songs that I remember when I watched you.
1940: Fantasia – Walt Disney uses the end of the Jurassic period to accompany the music as opposed to the original subject matter. Speaking of which, how old was I when I knew about human sacrifices. I couldn’t have been that old. Also, my high school put together a performance of Printemps.
2009: Coco and Igor – Director Jan Kounen takes us to the first performance of Vaslav Nijinski‘s vision. We mostly see the the blackness that envelopes the dancers as the wait for the audience’s reactions while having to go on like professionals should. Nijinsky and Igor Stravinsky later fight about the piece’s reaction.
2009: Mao’s Last Dancer (Bruce Beresford. ch. Graeme Murphy) – Instead of a woman, the company’s star is a man, Li Cunxin. I’m not sure what the story is here, whether he’s the sacrifice or the one doing the sacrificing but this athletic, daring and exposing choreography looks enthralling.
2011: Pina (Wim Wenders) – Bausch’s interpretation of the dance is more arm-y although it incorporates the jumps in Nijinsky’s original choreography. The story is more coherent and shows how death randomly chooses its young victims as the multinational company pass along the chosen virgin’s ironic red dress.
2002: Hable con ella – This movie’s Cafe Mueller scene is probably many movie lovers’ introduction to Bausch. Her gaunt face and slenderness complements the piece’s theme of yearning, even in an adult, contemporary setting where those kind of emotions should be eliminated by civilization and choice. The movie ends with Bausch’s piece Mascura Fogo, which is so simple and physically expressive that only someone like Bausch can invent it.
2011: Pina – The movie both shows Bausch’s rendition of her own choreography with the equally moving tribute by one of her company’s dancers. They also take bits of Café Mueller to different environments, making its lines look natural and transcendent. Oh and her pieces mostly seem to be about mating, barriers and behaviours about love.
1946: It’s a Wonderful Life – Kontakthof strikes me as a very American piece with the multipurpose dance hall setting. It’s if its context would be relatable on both sides of the Atlantic, the dance hall a place for people to reacquaint with each other. I’d also make the same association with They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? if I saw that movie.
2011: Pina – Unlike the two movies I stated above, Kontakthof uses the setting to play around with age and dancing traditions. A ‘senior’ troupe performed this piece in Britain. The Wuppertals mix the ages around, the seasoned veterans sharing the floor with the new blood. The pieces have their different purposes, Printemps showing what Bausch is famous for, Mueller retraces her steps, Kontakthof passes her legacy to new generations.
2002: “The Private Press” -Contemporary dance seems like the medium’s Wild West in a way that despite of the dominant use of (contemporary) classical and baroque music used in the pieces, any company can use whatever music they like. My favourite scene is when I’m sure that are the performers dancing to a song from the first half of DJ Shadow’s second album.
2010: Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky. ch. Benjamin Millepied?) – It’s taken me this long and this piece to revisit that movie’s histrionics. The set here is just a full moon at the background, one of James Wolcott’s points against the movie in his scathing review. I can only compare Black Swan‘s sets to Wuppertals’ big rock and flooded stage as apples and oranges. There’s an air to their approach to how both stage dance as minimalist if not for the ornamental details, like the translucent curtains that both movies share.
- The Magic Of Pina Bausch (buzzfeed.com)
…’Movie’ Dance! Michael Mirasol posted this on his Twitter feed.
1. I want to learn to Bande A Part dance because it looks fun and not difficult.
2. I can talk about the video’s omissions all hour, but the biggest is Mao’s Last Dancer, which features Chinese folk, ballet and contemporary.
4. I’d rather the montage also show Nina’s killer pirouettes or something from the fourth act of “Swan Lake.” And reminiscing from my cheerleader days, I tried doing some arabesques and toe touches. I sucked and I didn’t suck.
Today’s a lazy day. The backlog is there as well but the inspiration has been slow for me. So here’s a daily dose of ballet. And yes, this also proves how behind I am in current pop culture and music. ETA: Full length version courtesy of Andrew Parker.
- Kanye West – Runaway – Black Swan Video (blogrestandplay.com)
This makes me want to watch contemporary dance performances more. Mia Michaels is a goddess and a genius. And if anyone can find the video of season 2’s top 4 girls dancing to Dr. Feelgood and choreographed by Sean Cheesman, that would be greatly appreciated. Not the British version, that one sucked.
Leading Ladies is a dance movie. Toni Campari is a sane young woman, routinely dealing with Sheri (Melanie LaPatin), her stage mom, mostly to Toni’s sister, Tasi, who has competitive ballroom dancing and man problems. She also has Cedric (Benji Schwimmer), Tasi’s dance partner who is gay despite Sheri’s denial. Toni’s world gets crazier when a series of family events lead her to meet Mona Saunders (Nicole Dionne), who’s about to get a crash course in dancing and dysfunctional families.
I don’t know if “So You Think You Can Dance” completists exist, but the two alums, LaPatin and Schwimmer fill in for that void. True, they have the same acting level as kids in high school, camping it up and all, but we know that those scenes are just big fillers for the zany dance numbers. Besides, there are truths within the second half of the cliché ridden script, like a heartfelt discussion between Toni and the heartbroken Mona about striving for their relationship or Tasi’s pregnancy rant. 2/5.