Pina Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal, Playhouse, Edinburgh
Friday 03 September 2010
The choreographer Pina Bausch made her name with darker works, taking a confessional look at frantic needs. Later in life, she lightened up. In Agua, her 2001 celebration of Brazil, Bausch luxuriates in images of palm trees, twinkling fairy lights, days and nights at the beach. Her characters still have issues, but they're having a much better time.
Her company dance to Brazilian music, with pop songs and crooning. The women wear flowing evening dress, with flowered gauzy fabrics or billowing satin. Behind them, Peter Pabst's huge white screen shows footage of trees in the wind, of a rainforest, of celebrations and swimming. When the screen lifts, it reveals a lurking stage jungle, a wild tangle of artificial leaves.
The women dominate Agua. Charismatic, bossy and sometimes neurotic, they're as bright as their extravagant dresses. The neutrally dressed men are much more anonymous.
There's some padding, particularly in the mooching solo dances, but Agua lifts whenever the characters start interacting with each other, or chatting to the audience.
Bausch, the biggest dance name at this year's Edinburgh International Festival, died last year. Her company's performances are vividly true to the style she created. They're driven, sometimes needy, unnervingly frank. Bausch sends them through playful, lyrical imagery.
In the last scene, the dancers splash each other with water bottles, getting wetter and wetter as they rig up hosepipes. An adult figure sternly tells them off, ordering them offstage in angry gestures. The minute he turns away, they scamper back to do it again, gleeful and giggly. Hypnotically, the screen behind them shows the torrent of a huge waterfall. As the dancers splash, a golden pattern starts to shimmer on screen. It's reflected light from the onstage water, dappled by the shadows of dancing feet.
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
First Look at Bryan Cranston transformed into LBJ for HBO’s ‘All the Way’ film
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
Star Wars: New action dolls launched on Force Friday ahead of The Force Awakens release
Ricki And The Flash, film review: Meryl Streep's rock'n'roll creation steals the show
Photographer captures the beauty and intensity of his girlfriend giving birth at home
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up