Der Fensterputzer (World Cities 2012) – Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: Sadler’s Wells, London, 19 June 2012

I love this music, it so beautiful

Attack of the killer flowers. Tanztheater Wuppertal go crazy for silk. Photo: Detlef Erler

Apart from the sandpaper-voiced Mechthild Großmann who was having devastatingly sad problems with her lack of domestic exercises, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch seemed a happier bunch in Hong Kong than in some of the other cities they’ve visited for World Cities 2012.

80,000 red silk flowers festooned the stage in a conical pile that served equally well as ski-slope, badminton court and general plaything to jump, clamber and fall on. Flowers flung into the air became a wonderful firework display and strewn across the stage they were patiently laced into Nazca patterns.

There’s not a great deal of dancing on display but what there is is admirable. Fernando Suels Mendoza and Rainer Behr launched a trippy duet where they sprang up on one hand and wafted their legs into the air as if caught on rising thermals, Regina Advento swooned out a languid solo of great charm and all the company joined a fabulously uplifting routine of happy claps and gung-ho hands-in-the-air party fun.

Even by Pina Bausch standards there was a lot of (highly generous) interaction with the audience; apples, bananas, ice-cream, dollar bills and cups of tea were all dished out at one point or another. Photographs of family members were shown and discussed and much of the front row had their tickets checked by an overly poetic inspector. A communal experience indeed for the stalls seats, maybe not for the higher tiers.

The eponymous Window Washer looked down from his little elevated chair from time-to-time and watched events unfurl dispassionately. But there was little that was routine about this piece, the imagery as excitingly eclectic as the music was beautifully judged.

Gerard Davis

This entry was posted in Pina, Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells, Tanztheater Wuppertal, World Cities 2012 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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