innopac

"Pina"

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Thank you, innopac, for the heads up. Looks promising.

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It seems like ages since the trailer for this film appeared... It was in the NY Film frstival but I learned of it too late... When is it going to make the rounds of the Art Houses in the US? I hope I don't miss any other chance!

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as i understand it PINA will be released in NYC-area theaters in mid-Dec. and (if i heard correctly) more widely in January.

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According to Fandango.com, the film opens in Washington, DC, on December 23. Even if I buy the DVD now through European Amazon (as I have multi-system player, so format doesn't matter), I can't wait to also see it properly in a movie theater, on 3D.

I don't know about y'all, but I'm already smelling 'Oscars'! It's Germany's entry to the 2012 Academy Awards-Best Foreign film category. http://cineuropa.org/2011/nw.aspx?t=newsdetail〈=en&documentID=209327

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If anyone is interested in the soundtrack to the movie, World Champion Pairs skaters Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy are skating to it this year for the Free Skate. Their latest competition, Cup of Russia, was the best performance of the year so far:

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I received my DVD of PINA a couple of days ago and watched it last night. What a beautiful, haunting film! It's more "an event for the senses" than a dance performance, although it appears to include portions of some of Bausch's better-known theatrical dances, such as Cafe Muller. The filming, the music, the performances and small spoken tributes to the late Pina Bausch by artists with whom she worked...everything about this DVD is to be lauded.

Having the DVD only makes me yearn more for seeing it in the cinema, in 3-D. Most definitely Oscar material, IMO.

p.s. After viewing this, I found myself walking around my house trying to do the little "4 seasons" hand motions that constitute a leitmotif performed by the Wuppertal troupe throughout the film (I've got "Der Winter" down pat...especially since it's turning cold in DC)! This seems to be Bausch's answer to the Village People's "YMCA" hand & arm motions.

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Natalia, I too have been doing the 4 Seasons Dance-- it makes me so happy, on the street, on the sidewalk, it just catches up with me and I hear a jazz march and I break out into it.

We saw the film here last week -- The film was screened in Berkeley just before hte company performed "Danzon" here, and afterwards several dancers were interviewed by Rita Felciano (VERY good interview). Domenique Mercy volunteered that dancers generated the material, in response to Bausch's questions, but that she didn't use phrases "that could not survive repetition."

And indeed, however spastic the movement, you'll notice it's like Petipa, you see the moves repeated and repeated exactly. And that little "Spring Summer Fall Winter" dance REALLY survives repetition.-- it's a classic, there's always more in it every time your repeat it.

The gestures themselves are classic -- for spring, the hands open out in low second position, as if you were stepping out in a polonaise or Czardas; march for 4 counts and on FIVE Summer begins, the arms go straight up in triumph, like a gymnast's salute after s/he finishes the combination; march for 3 counts and on the 4th the left hand falls, the right forms into the letter "C"

SO Fall and winter have an upbeat into them .On the down beat of "Fall," the right hand twists like a falling leaf (as in the Asian fan-dances on the falling leaf motif) jerking downward 3 times. Then, on the upbeat of Winter, both arms make fists to prepare for the shivering action of "Winter, where the torso contracts, the forearms "shake against the cold," and the elbows knock together rapidly, like a snare-drum roll....

For four counts, and then Spring is back and the body opens up and out, the hands spread with a little burst, like buds opening, the chest opens, the head rises the eyes open and look round, and it's Spring again.

BEAUTIFUL dance!

It is an ENORMOUSLY satisfying little dance -- reminds me of ee cummings' poem "Anyone lived in a pretty how town,' with its varying stanzas about Anybody's life, and the recurring/varying refrain, "Sun moon stars rain"

anyone lived in a pretty how town

(with up so floating many bells down)

spring summer autumn winter

he sang his didn't he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)

cared for anyone not at all

they sowed their isn't they reaped their same

sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few

and down they forgot as up they grew

autumn winter spring summer)

that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf

she laughed his joy she cried his grief

bird by snow and stir by still

anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones

laughed their cryings and did their dance

(sleep wake hope and then)they

said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon

(and only the snow can begin to explain

how children are apt to forget to remember

with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess

(and noone stooped to kiss his face)

busy folk buried them side by side

little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep

and more by more they dream their sleep

noone and anyone earth by april

wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)

summer autumn winter spring

reaped their sowing and went their came

sun moon stars rain

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Thanks for this and for the lovely cummings poem, Paul. Now I have the counts down pat and I'm ready to teach it to my husband. (ha-ha)

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Thank you, Paul and Natalia. I'm looking forward to seeing this.

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I saw the 3-D version of Wenders' "Pina" over the weekend, and couldn't get it out of my head for days. The 3-D experience is peculiar -- it's not quite like watching dance in a theater and it's not at all like watching dance on film -- but it definitely works. In some ways it seems more visceral than seeing these works in the theater -- perhaps because there's no proscenium. (There are a couple of spooke moments when elements of the set seem to be projected out into the movie theater.) And can I just say that it's a delight to watch dance filmed by someone who really knows how to use a camera to tell a story. There are no silly cross-cuts or pointless close-ups or "wow! look at that" showcasing of bravura effects; Wenders knows what we need to see when and from how far back or from how close up. And he just revels in the dancers' diversity in age, body type, and ethnicity; he uses their distinctiveness and individuality to great theatrical effect.

The film is comprised of extracts from "Le sacre du printemps," "Café Müller," "Kontakthof," and "Vollmond" interspersed with commentary from Bausch's dancers. Regarding the latter: rather than showing us talking heads, Wenders opted instead to show us the dancers sitting in front of the camera in silence while their previously recorded comments play as voice-over narration -- is if we're listening to their thoughts rather than watching them speak. I thought it was a really good choice -- these dancers are at least as eloquent with their faces and bodies as they are with words, if not more so -- but others have found it annoying. Wenders also pulls some of the extracts out of the theater and stages them in and around Wuppertal, where they look just wonderful. There's one genuine "coup de camera" -- Wenders shoots two of Bausch's dancers looking into a diorama of the "Cafe Müller" set, which magically comes to life as an actual performance of "Cafe Müller" while they talk. (The diorama is set up outdoors in a green and sunny park.)

I recommend that you try to catch this in 3-D even if you don't much care for Bausch. At the very least it's an example of how to film dance well and what 3-D is good for.

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Isn't it wonderful when the camera helps you see the dance rather than distracting you from it? Nothing is worse than wondering why the cameraman or director was so clueless when you would rather be thinking about the dancing.

I hope they win one of those Oscars it's up for.

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I saw this in 3D last week and agree with Kathleen -- it's some of the most deft use of 3D techniques I've seen. (as good as the Herzog film of the French cave paintings) I know there's been some commentary about the dance excerpts, but I felt Wenders did an excellent job of "placing" the work. I felt that I knew where the dancers were, in relationship to the space and to each other -- considering what a theatrical coup Bausch's work was, the film was able to give an approximation of that transformation. Because of that, I especially appreciated the sections that were clearly in a theatrical space.

For me, the "silent" interview footage wasn't quite as successful as it might have been -- after the first few dancers, I began to long for something different -- the obedience to the structure got a bit tedious. But I can understand the need to let everyone have their say.

I'm the most grateful for the excerpts of the main works, especially of Cafe Muller and Sacre -- I wish there had been time for more of the incessant repetition that she used to such great affect, but then you'd have to trade something else out, and I'm not sure I would want to make that decision.

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I was wondering a little about how the editing decisions changed our concept of the dance beyond the usual "point of view" filters... I never had the pleasure of seeing Bausch's work in the theater... If Wenders is excerpting the bits he found most interesting... What sense do we have of the piece's overall structure... Without the context of the piece run through in it's entirety, how distorted is our experience of it?

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Without the context of the piece run through in it's emtirety, how distorted is our experience of it?

Well, that's certainly the $64,000 question! For many, probably most of the people in the audience, this will be what they know of Bausch's work -- as a filmmaker, Wenders will draw an audience because it's his work, not because it's about her work. People won't be able to say that they've seen Sacre, or Cafe Muller, or either of the other pieces that he draws extensive excerpts from, but I do think they'll be able to say they've seen a part of what Bausch was as a dance maker. But we all know that repetition gives the opportunity for further depth -- whatever the actual content. We still learn new things about Swan Lake, even if we've seen it multiple times with many different casts. I think, if you needed to make a Cliff Notes guide to Pina Bausch's style, this film wouldn't be far off. And perhaps that's the best we can ask of it, at least on that level.

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I saw this in 3D last week and agree with Kathleen -- it's some of the most deft use of 3D techniques I've seen. (as good as the Herzog film of the French cave paintings) I know there's been some commentary about the dance excerpts, but I felt Wenders did an excellent job of "placing" the work. I felt that I knew where the dancers were, in relationship to the space and to each other -- considering what a theatrical coup Bausch's work was, the film was able to give an approximation of that transformation. Because of that, I especially appreciated the sections that were clearly in a theatrical space.

For me, the "silent" interview footage wasn't quite as successful as it might have been -- after the first few dancers, I began to long for something different -- the obedience to the structure got a bit tedious. But I can understand the need to let everyone have their say.

I'm the most grateful for the excerpts of the main works, especially of Cafe Muller and Sacre -- I wish there had been time for more of the incessant repetition that she used to such great affect, but then you'd have to trade something else out, and I'm not sure I would want to make that decision.

First off -- I love that Herzog film ("Cave of Forgotten Dreams")! I've even deluded myself that I get the albino alligators. Herzog claims to have wanted to use 3D to make the most of the paintings themselves, which use the natural contours of the cave's walls to add dimensionality to the animals depicted there. But ... there's a hilarious scene in which an endearlingly goofy scientist studying the cave demonstrates how to use a paleolithic spear thrower -- and of course Herzog shoots the scene so that the spear comes hurtling at you head on. I half suspect that spear thrower clinched the 3D deal for him.

I too would have preferred less of the commentary and more of the dancing. It was hard for me to make much of an assessment of the film's overall pacing, however. The showing I attended was interrupted several times by an errant fire alarm. The soundtrack shut itself off during the first false alarm (standard safety practice, I gather), but the film itself did not stop as it was apparently supposed to. The projectionist attempted to rewind to where we were before the alarm went off, and it took several tries to find the right place. As a result I saw some episodes three times, both with and without sound and completely out of sequence and there was a fair amount of down time to boot while the firemen investigated the scene. Then the alarm--a loud bell and flashing strobes--went off a couple more times after the film started up again. So I couldn't tell if my sense that the film lost focus at around the 2/3 point had any basis in reality or not. Similarly, while I definitely enjoyed getting a second look at the dance sequences, I didn't much enjoy sitting through the commentaries twice -- so, again, it was hard for me to tell if the commentaries were a problem or if the way I saw the film was.

Anyway, I think it's a tribute to Wenders' skill and Bausch's art that I walked out on a cloud despite the less-than-ideal viewing conditions.

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Without the context of the piece run through in it's emtirety, how distorted is our experience of it?

Well, that's certainly the $64,000 question! For many, probably most of the people in the audience, this will be what they know of Bausch's work -- as a filmmaker, Wenders will draw an audience because it's his work, not because it's about her work. People won't be able to say that they've seen Sacre, or Cafe Muller, or either of the other pieces that he draws extensive excerpts from, but I do think they'll be able to say they've seen a part of what Bausch was as a dance maker. But we all know that repetition gives the opportunity for further depth -- whatever the actual content. We still learn new things about Swan Lake, even if we've seen it multiple times with many different casts. I think, if you needed to make a Cliff Notes guide to Pina Bausch's style, this film wouldn't be far off. And perhaps that's the best we can ask of it, at least on that level.

Sandik -- I think you nailed it here. If you want to know what Bausch's work looks like and where she is on the dance spectrum, "Pina" is a decent (and very well-crafted) place to start. Wenders loved and admired Bausch's work: per his own telling, he--not much of a dance fan at the time--got dragged to a performance of "Cafe Müller," cried his eyes out, and became a convert. I think he wants the audience to have a conversion experience, too. I don't know if that passion makes him a reliable guide, though--I suspect he selected and staged the episodes the way he did in order to make a good film, not to produce a sober assessment or even accurate rendition of Bausch's art. Scant attention may have been paid to her use of repetition, for example, because however powerful it might be live in a theater it might be a dispiriting dud onscreen. I think Wenders wants you to run, not walk, to the theater to see Bausch live, and to that end has taken pains to make her work look as good on screen as he possibly can -- which may mean he's being less "true" to the works in their entirety than exisitng fans might like.

But the film can't be a substitute for seeing the works live in their entirety in a theater.

I do hope he captured the dances in their entirety and that he'll make them available once his initial round of proselytizing is done.

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... Wenders loved and admired Bausch's work: per his own telling, he--not much of a dance fan at the time--got dragged to a performance of "Cafe Müller," cried his eyes out, and became a convert. I think he wants the audience to have a conversion experience, too. I don't know if that passion makes him a reliable guide, though--I suspect he selected and staged the episodes the way he did in order to make a good film, not to produce a sober assessment or even accurate rendition of Bausch's art....

You bring up an interesting distinction, and one that we've chewed over at Ballet Alert before, in reference to the Frederick Wiseman's films about ABT and POB -- established filmmakers like Wiseman and Wenders are as interested in making a good film (as they know it) as they are in making an archive record of choreography or of a company. I'm always thrilled when concert level dance is part of a general-audience film, and there are certainly different kinds of use involved (I think that Wenders use of Bausch's work is miles away from Aronovsky's use of Swan Lake in you-know-what), but there are multiple concerns in play with this kind of work, and though dance may be among the important elements, it is not the only one.

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Well.... I've only seen the film and thought she used *a lot* of repetition... but whether this added depth as it might have in the theater... I don't know. Repetition plays on our sense of time and theater time is very very different from film time. I think we are more impatient when it comes to film, the pace having been set by 15 second blipverts...excuse me, "television commercials". It takes a while to break past that, and 3D helps change the precepts, but cuts are cuts, 3D or not, and they don't happen in the theater. There was plenty of repetition. Whether it had Pina's moment to it is less clear. Because this film worked so well, it is more interesting to dissect than a film that was just lame. I do imagine it caught Pina's ability to surprise.....

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The film is comprised of extracts from "Le sacre du printemps," "Café Müller," "Kontakthof," and "Vollmond" interspersed with commentary from Bausch's dancers. ....There's one genuine "coup de camera" -- Wenders shoots two of Bausch's dancers looking into a diorama of the "Cafe Müller" set, which magically comes to life as an actual performance of "Cafe Müller" while they talk. (The diorama is set up outdoors in a green and sunny park.)

Other than "Cafe", can you identify which dance is which? I saw this yesterday.

Also, how were the dances generally staged or presented? Outdoors? On film? As performance art?

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Thinking it might be months before "Pina" made it to Vancouver, I ordered the DVD of "Pina", which I had shipped to a friend's house in Seattle, where I picked it up this weekend. There was a rattle in the box, and I thought that they might be 3D vision glasses, but alas, it was just the disk shifting around.

As the bus passed the Park Theatre on Cambie Street, I saw the sign for the movie opening this Friday. I'll see it in the theater and compare it to the DVD.

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The film is comprised of extracts from "Le sacre du printemps," "Café Müller," "Kontakthof," and "Vollmond" interspersed with commentary from Bausch's dancers. ....There's one genuine "coup de camera" -- Wenders shoots two of Bausch's dancers looking into a diorama of the "Cafe Müller" set, which magically comes to life as an actual performance of "Cafe Müller" while they talk. (The diorama is set up outdoors in a green and sunny park.)

Other than "Cafe", can you identify which dance is which? I saw this yesterday.

Also, how were the dances generally staged or presented? Outdoors? On film? As performance art?

"Sacre" is the one with the dirt on the stage; "Vollmond" is the one with the rock, the rain, and the big puddle; "Kontakthof" is the one with the old people.

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