* Notes *
Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal returned to Cal Performances for the first time in 8 years, with a three day run of the piece Ten Chi. The work has quite a lot more dancing in it than Nelken, the only other work of Bausch's I know. It was a couple of strange Japanese/German dream-like hours. The set was like a dark sea, with a few whale parts peeking through the surface. Toward the end of the first part petals or snow start falling, and it continued for the entire show. The seventeen performers on stage included many fine dancers, and some rather funny as actors as well. The assisted gliding and swimming was particularly beautiful. In evening dress the performers dressed and undressed each other, took photographs, bowed, counted audience members' fingers, threatened to drop ice, walked on glass, and encouraged snoring. Aida Vainieri got one of the longest ovations for her hilarious sound effects as she attacked a pillow and this was amplified by the microphone held in her cleavage. Mechthild Großmann was slightly terrifying when she made her many declarations, though the most alarming part was when she started listing off Japanese words like geisha, bonzai, Mt. Fuji, and sushi. She would draw out the words and play with the sounds, and for some reason it was disturbing.
* Tattling *
The audience was quiet except for a bit of whispering. They submitted to snoring and finger-counting when asked. They seemed to like the performance a great deal, and it occurred to me what the difference between Pina Bausch's work and that of those responsible for Regieoper. With Bausch, one knows what one is getting, avant garde contemporary dance. It is not as if she has taken The Nutcracker and put whales and swimming into it. Then again, she has done Iphigenie auf Tauris as a dance opera, I can only imagine how absurd it might be.