Pina Bausch led dance towards its conceptual frontier.  While some twentieth century choreographers pushed the human body to physical extremes, she extended its psychological, intellectual and emotional range.  Her dancers speak, run, conjure, play party games, and sometimes dance very beautifully, but it is the underlying meaning of her work that drives 1980.

The entire stage, grassed over and decorated with a single toy deer, a piano, spotlights and two rubbish bins is the setting for a series of manic birthday party events, in which adults chant songs and repeat games over and over, slowly mesmerising the audience.  In the second act, it is the scene of a bizarre garden fete, complete with beauty contest.  Nothing is quite as it seems (more…)

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