News: Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch announce new choreographic partnerships

Wednesday 10 June 2015 by Carmel Smith

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch 'Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei gehört' Sadler's Wells, April 2015. Photo Bettina Strenske

Two UK based choreographers have been selected to make new work with Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. Tim Etchells and Theo Clinkard, along with Paris based partners Cecilia Bengolea and François Chaignaud will make three new pieces for a programme which will open the company’s 2015/16 season in September.

This will be the first time that the company has made work with choreographers other than Pina Bausch, who died in 2009. Tim Etchells, artistic director of the internationally acclaimed performance group Forced Entertainment, is fascinated by the rules and systems governing language, and works with texts created during the rehearsal process. Theo Clinkard worked with various ensembles before founding his own company in 2012 and has also worked with dancers from the Tanztheater Wuppertal as part of a workshop. He is interested in the communicative potential of the body and the ways in which dance can make empathies between the dancers visible – or between dancers and audience. Cecilea Bengolea and François Chaignaud have been working together since 2005, forming their own company in 2008. They gain inspiration from difference. Cecilea Bengolea (originally from Argentina) combines elements of club culture such as twerking and dubstep with influences from Jamaican dancehall. François Chaignaud (originally from France) is a classically trained dancer using historical references as a starting point, with a focus on vocal polyphony.

The selection of the choreographers for this first series of new pieces was made in consultation with Alistair Spalding, chief executive and artistic director of Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, regular collaborators with Tanztheater Wuppertal for many years on touring productions, with Myriam De Clopper, artistic director of deSingel in Antwerp, where the company has also performed, and Stefan Hilterhaus of PACT Zollverein.

Alistair Spalding described it as “an honour and a privilege” to be involved. “Our aim in devising this programme was to give the dancers of Tanztheater Wuppertal the possibility of a variety of different experiences in the creation period,” he said. “The artists that we have chosen come from a broad range of backgrounds and experience and they will all bring their own specific approaches to the process. We are looking forward to seeing that process evolve and the results in September.”

Meanwhile, Wuppertal’s local authority have confirmed that a new Pina Bausch Centre will be one of the 13 key projects forming part of the Wuppertal 2025 strategic plan, with support from both national and regional funds. Peter Jung, Wuppertal’s mayor said, “along with the state, North Rhine-Westphalia, we have come a long way towards generating a plan to preserve Pina Bausch’s legacy while at the same time ensuring that dance in Wuppertal continues to develop in the future. With Stefan Hilterhaus from PACT Zollverein we have engaged a renowned dance expert who has devised a strategic plan for coming years in close collaboration with the ensemble. Dance will continue to have a home in Wuppertal – a physical home, with a Pina Bausch Centre in the heart of our city.”

Alongside the new works, the Tanztheater Wuppertal will be presenting ten different pieces by Pina Bausch, seven of them in Wuppertal, and will be touring to St Pölten, Antwerp, Monaco, London, Adelaide, Paris, Amsterdam and, for the first time ever, to Luxemburg and Wellington.

Highpoints of the season will included an open air performance at the Arènes de Nîmes featuring Café Müller and Sacre du Printemps, with the Orchestre des Siècles under the musical direction of Xavier Roth and the first new production of one of Pina Bausch’s more recent works by another ensemble, directed by dancers from the Tanztheater Wuppertal. The Bayrisches Staatsballett from Munich will be adding Für die Kinder von gestern heute und morgen from 2002 to its repertoire, a Pina Bausch Foundation project in close collaboration with the Tanztheater Wuppertal. The premiere will be 3 April 2016, the opening night of the annual BallettFestwoche in the Nationaltheater, Munich. Lutz Förster, artistic director of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, emphasised that this move is also crucial to the future of the company. “We are very excited and very pleased that this project, already envisaged while Pina Bausch was still alive, can now be realised, and that, in collaboration with the Pina Bausch Foundation, new challenges and roles for the Tanztheater Wuppertal will be opened up.”

Six new dancers will be joining the ensemble for the coming season: from Canada/Sweden, Emma Barrowman, previously with the Staatsballett München, and Michael Carter, previously a member of the Compañia Nacional de Danza, Madrid; from the US Jonathan Fredrickson, previously with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago – and three graduates of the Folkwang University of the Arts, Blanca Noguerol Ramírez from Spain, Julian Stierle from Germany and Tsai-Wei Tien from Taiwan.

Photo: Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei gehört at Sadler’s Wells, April 2015 by Bettina Strenske

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