Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pina is An Awesome Journey of Life in Poetic Dance

PINA - Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost - International Trailer from neueroadmovies on Vimeo.

A sizeable crowd watched the African premiere of the awesome German documentary film Pina Saturday afternoon at the Silverbird Cinemas in the Silverbird Galleria on Victoria Island in Lagos. It was the special feature of the monthly documentary film screening series of iRep International Documentary Film Festival and the Goethe Institut in Nigeria.

The audience of both Nigerians and the international community of mainly Germans and other Europeans was captivated by the hyperbolic renditions and illustrations of the life work of Philippina "Pina" Bausch (27 July 1940 – 30 June 2009), whose untimely death whilst Wim Wenders was still planning the experimental documentary in 3D compelled him to cancel the film production until the other dancers of the famous Tanztheater Wuppertal prevailed on him to complete the film as a memorial tribute to Pina and what a great tribute it has become as the dancers reenacted the panoramic montage of the phenomenal oeuvre of her Tanztheater in four movements, titled Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), Café Mueller (a café in the German town of Solingen, where Bausch grew up from when she began dancing at 14), Kontakthof, and Vollmond.

A gripping scene from Pina

Philippina "Pina" Bausch

The dancers gave testimonies of Pina’s philosophy of life as depicted in her largely expressionist dance on and off stage and how much she influenced them to equally express their innermost being through the choreography of different sequences of dances all looking like a narrative of the various experiences of the romance of human existence on earth. I saw the dancers as the illustrations of the flower children of Mother Nature in their pilgrimage in the world as they passed through different stages of existential evolution. I saw echoes of the art of Salvador Dali (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989) and the architecture of Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (May 18, 1883 – July 5, 1969), founder of the Bauhaus School that later birthed The Bauhaus Movement and the literature of Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924), Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980) and Albert Camus (1913-1960) as the dancers took their captive audience on a hypnotic and surrealistic journey of the diverse experiences of humankind in the universe.

Director Wim Wenders arrives at the "Pina" special screening during AFI FEST 2011 presented by Audi at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on November 5, 2011 in Hollywood, California.(November 4, 2011 - Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images North America)

Pina is definitely going to become a timeless classic in the history of modern documentary filmmaking and may end up as the magnum opus of Wim Wenders. Its accomplishment is an embodiment of the heart, soul and spirit of Wenders himself. To me, it is a phenomenal fusion of abstract art, literature and music in the choreography of modern dance. And it is an unforgettable journey of life in poetic dance.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, author of Children of Heaven, Sleepless Night, Scarlet Tears of London, Bye, Bye Mugabe and In the House of Dogs.

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