Barbican & Sadler's Wells Stage Bausch Cities
The legendary German choreographer's international co-productions will be presented by her company, Tanztheater Wuppertal. The series will feature works created for 10 global locations; India, Brazil, Palermo, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Budapest, Istanbul, Santiago de Chile, Rome and Japan in a season titled World Cities 2012.
The Barbican and Sadler's Wells hope the season will form a "fitting celebration of the Olympic and Paralympic year’s global focus".
A project which Bausch started in 1986, the international co-productions were created at the invitation of specific cities. Living in each city for a period of time, Tanztheater Wuppertal would then return to their West German base to create a new work inspired by their visit.
Speaking about her approach to creating the co-productions Bausch has been quoted as saying: "Getting to know unfamiliar customs, music and traditions led me to transform into dance what is unknown but is part of us all. Getting to know the unknown, sharing it, and experiencing it without fear."
The series will feature Viktor (Rome, 1986) Nur Du (Only You) (Los Angeles, 1996), ...como el musguito en la piedra, ay si si si... (Santiago de Chile, 2009), Bamboo Blues (India, 2007) Der Fenzterputzer (The Window Washer) (Hong Kong, 1997), Ten Chi (Japan, 2004) Néfés (Istanbul, 2003) Água (Brazil, 2001) Palermo, Palermo (Palermo, 1989) and Wiesenland (Budapest, 2000). Of the 10 pieces, seven receive their UK premieres as part of the season.
Sadler’s Wells first presented the work of Tanztheater Wuppertal in 1982. It was 1999 before the company returned, presenting the company's Viktor. Subsequent productions have included Masurca Fogo in 2002 and Nelken and Palermo, Palermo in 2005. In 2008 the company presented Bausch's seminal works, Café Müller and The Rite of Spring. In 2010 Tanztheater Wuppertal presented the London premiere of the rarely performed Iphigenie auf Tauris at the theatre.
In 2002 Tanztheater Wuppertal created Kontakthof (Ladies and Gentlemen over 65), a reworking of Bausch’s pioneering 1978 piece. It was performed at the Barbican and returned there in 2010 paired with its later counterpart Kontakthof (Teenagers over 14).
Following Bausch's death in 2009 Tanztheatre Wuppertal appointed Dominique Mercy and Robert Sturm as her joint successors. The pair were close colleagues of the revered choreographer – Mercy has been a dancer with the company for 35 years, while Sturm was Bausch’s artistic assistant for the decade until her death.
Considered one of contemporary dance’s most provocative and innovative choreographers, Baush’s works, often distinguished by their lack of narrative and emotive movements, have been presented around the world and has influenced a whole generation of choreographers, dancers, theatre makers and other artists. Notably, the Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar featured her choreography in his 2002 Oscar-winning film Talk to Her.