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Pina Bausch

(German performer of modern dance, choreographer, dance teacher and ballet director)

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Biography Pina Bausch
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Philippina "Pina" Bausch (27 July 1940 - 30 June 2009) was a German performer of modern dance, choreographer, dance teacher and ballet director. With her unique style, a blend of movements, sounds and prominent stage sets, and with her elaborate cooperation with performers during the composition of a piece (a style now known as Tanztheater), she became a leading influence since the 1970's in the world of modern dance.

Bausch was born in Solingen, near Düsseldorf, the third and youngest child of August and Anita Bausch, who owned a restaurant with guest rooms.

Bausch began dancing at a young age. In 1955 at the age of 14 she entered the Folkwangschule in Essen then directed by Germany's most influential choreographer Kurt Jooss, one of the founders of German Expressionist dance.

After graduation in 1959, Bausch left Germany with a scholarship to continue her studies at the Juilliard School in New York City in 1960, where her teachers included Antony Tudor, José Limón, and Paul Taylor. Bausch was soon performing with Tudor at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, and with Paul Taylor at New American Ballet. When in 1960 Taylor was invited to premiere a new work named Tablet in Spoleto, Italy, he took Bausch with him. In New York she also performed with the Paul Sanasardo and Donya Feuer Dance Company, with which she collaborated on two pieces in 1961.

In 1962, Bausch joined Jooss' new Folkwang Ballett Company as a soloist and assisted Jooss on many of the pieces, before choreographing her first piece in 1968, Fragment, to music by Béla Bartók. In 1969, she succeeded Jooss as artistic director. In 1972, Bausch started as artistic director of the then Wuppertal Opera Ballet, which was later renamed as the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. The company has a large repertoire of original pieces, and regularly tours throughout the world.

Her best-known dance-theatre works include the melancholic Café Müller (1978), in which dancers stumble around the stage crashing into tables and chairs, and a thrilling Rite of Spring (1975), which required the stage to be completely covered with soil.

Male-female interaction is a theme found throughout her work, which has been an inspiration for-and reached a wider audience through-the movie Talk to Her, directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Her pieces are constructed of short units of dialogue and action, often of a surreal nature. Repetition is an important structuring device. Her large multi-media productions often involve elaborate sets and eclectic music. In Vollmond half of the stage is taken up by a giant, rocky hill, and the score includes everything from Portuguese music to K. D. Lang.

In 1983, she played the role of La Principessa Lherimia in Federico Fellini's film And the Ship Sails On. In 1984, the United States debut of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch was held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Bausch was married to Dutch-born Rolf Borzik, a set and costume designer who died of leukemia in 1980. In 1981 Ronald Kay became her life-long companion and was the father of her son, Rolf.

Among the honours awarded to Bausch are the UK's Laurence Olivier Award and Japan's Kyoto Prize, while in 2008 the city of Frankfurt am Main awarded her its prestigious Goethe Prize. She was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009.

In 2009, Bausch started to collaborate with film director Wim Wenders on a 3D documentary, Pina. The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011.
Works by Bausch will be staged in June and July 2012 as a highlight of the Cultural Olympiad preceding the Olympic Games 2012 in London. The works were created when Bausch was invited to visit and stay in 10 global locations - in India, Brazil, Palermo, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Budapest, Istanbul, Santiago, Rome and Japan - between 1986 and 2009. Seven of the works have not been seen in the UK.

Bausch died at the age of 68 of an unstated form of cancer in Wuppertal five days after diagnosis. She is survived by her son Rolf and her partner.

Based on the material from http://en.wikipedia.org/

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Pina Bausch, photo, biography
Pina Bausch, photo, biography Pina Bausch German performer of modern dance, choreographer, dance teacher and ballet director, photo, biography
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