I absolutely love this movie. Dancing Pina is a documentary that follows two dance companies as they reinterpret two of legendary dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch’s pieces. The Semperoper Ballet Company in Dresden, Germany rehearses Pina’s dance opera Iphigenia in Tauris, staring Sangeun Lee. While dancers from all over Africa rehearse Pina’s ballet Le Sacre du Printemps at the École des Sables in Dakar, Senegal. Pina Bausch is considered to be one of the most important figures in the modern dance movement, and Dancing Pina looks at that legacy through the rehearsal process of these two productions.
As I said off the top, I love this movie. I loved watching the rehearsal process and seeing all of these incredible dancers at work. I loved watching these seminal pieces being dissected and reexamined by artists from all over the world. And I loved just watching the dancing, because it was absolutely incredible.
Unfortunately, the production in Dakar was rehearsing in the spring of 2020, and the cameras were rolling when the announcement was made that the production had been cancelled as a result of the emerging pandemic. The heartbreak in the room was visceral, but it resulted in the most profound scene of the entire film when the dancers all gathered on the beach the next day and performed anyway. It was beautiful. It was moving. And it reaffirmed everything that I love about dance. If you’re also a fan of dance, I highly recommend Dancing Pina.
Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!