Pina And Her Potential For Movement

Having begun to set out my self study programme a few days ago I have started a few tasks to get me going for the following weeks.

Today I have been researching ‘the potential for movement’ and naturally I fell upon Pina Bausch. I think Bausch naturally plays with this concept of the moment before a movement in any work she has made. And cleverly demonstrates that it can be interesting on its own, without adding other layers of context on top. The Fall Dance is one example, in this clip a woman walks around in what looks like a park and suddenly halts to a stop and falls forward just in time for a man to catch her as she repeats this phrase. This piece already speaks many messages to do with gender, and the relationship between men and women just to name one. However the simple moment before the woman falls is for me the most electric moment. In a scene that is filled with movement, maybe small but movement nonetheless, it is the little pocket of stillness that is so soothing to the eye, you never want it to end. It is interesting to note that after the first fall you are aware of what she will do the second time, but it does not change the feeling of uncertainty before she falls again. That is what makes this short dance so interesting to watch as an audience, over and over again you find yourself waiting for that moment of still. To be locked into this sharp suspension of breath with the performers, it almost places you right in their shoes with them for the tiniest second. This is what Scott was explaining in the intensive with Frantic, the little moments that lead to movement are the most vulnerable and precious. As he describes ‘they are the times when an audience just want to jump out of their seat and say “kiss her!” as an example of these effective moments’.

As a simple example, Pina Bausch encapsulates this concept, and signifies the importance it has within any theatre piece. I would like to play with this specific concept of the moment before a fall, and see how it can be manipulated. To see if what comes out of the suspense is not a fall at all but something else. I am interested to know whether it is imperative to have the fall, and without it, the potential for possibility suddenly has less power. Or whether it can have the same impact if say an arm is lifted out of the moment of suspension.

Watch Pina Bausch’s The Fall Dance Here on Youtube.


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