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 Post subject: Bausch hiring wrong dancers
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:20 am
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Location: Canada
Pina Bausch is already a legend a dance icon in many peoples minds. I recently saw "Bamboo Blues" at BAM, New York and "Nefes" at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa, last year. If you've never seen Bausch's work before I am sure the imagery will amaze but if you have had the luck to have experienced her earlier works the more recent stuff like "Nefes" and "Bamboo Blues" falls short. I don't think it is because of Bausch, I think it is because of the dancers she has hired more recently. The process she uses to create a work from inception to finished product depends very much on her dancers. The people she had to work with earlier, Jan Minarik, Jo Ann Endicott, Mechtild Grossman, Dominique Mercy, etc. provided her with stronger material to work with. These people were somehow on the same expressionist wavelength as Bausch. The newer dancers I don't think are. They are all very accomplished performers and dancers but not as strong in that Bauschian Way.
Still she is one of the strongest choreographers in the world today. Her work has the power to alter you, once you have seen it.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Welcome to criticaldance, beaver.

What do you think Bausch's reasons might be for hiring a different type of dancer?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Hi Beaver, glad you were able to re-join us.

I noticed the same weakness among the Paul Taylor dancers in recent years. His teaching methods have changed and I can't help but think that is the reason his dancers are so lacking now.

Do you think Baucsh's methods for hiring dancers may have changed and that is why her dancers are weaker now?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:20 am
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Location: Canada
I can't say why Bausch has changed her hiring practices. I don't know if I can call it a multicultural approach but in the last years with Mazurga Fogo, Nefes, Bamboo Blues she is moving into examining different cultures and people. She seems to have a real affinity with Shantala Shivalingappa, for example. Shantala has the same body type and fluidity of movement as Bausch and she is a very well trained in the Indian dance that she does but not strong in Bausch's work. Her work used to focus, in a deep way, with the inner, personal and complex socio-sexual male/female relations. It was microscopic yet universal, in the way in which we could all identify with at some level. Progressively, she turned to a broader examination of different cultures, peoples, habits, etc. These are only passing, fleeting images of what she and her dancers experienced while on location. While some of the imagery is outstanding, the work does not have as much conviction and depth. Her dancers are strong but not as convincing, they don't affect me and I think others, at the same level.

I'm not that familiar with Paul Taylor's work, past vs. present. Do you think there is a trend in modern dance schools in the past years to fluff over real technique? There has been so much fragmentation of strong modern dance technique and choreographic styles that teachers no longer know what approach to take and what kind of dancers to create.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:11 am 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
I think you've hit on it right there. There seems to be very little concrete methodology in the modern schools and I think it shows in the diminished quality of the dancers.


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