Pina Bausch on film at Yerba Buena

German choreographer Pina Bausch, who died last year, is one of the most famous and controversial figures on Europe’s modern-dance scene.

Her works taxed the patience of some, but compelled many others to become devoted fans.

Beginning Thursday and running through May 30, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presents “To the Limit: Pina Bausch on Film,” a defining collection covering many aspects of her career and work.

One film, the U.S. premiere of “Dancing Dreams” (“Tanzträume”), screened to acclaim at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. It will be shown here May 27-29.

Just about everything Bausch did was different: Her timing, movements and disregard for linear rules guiding theatrical and dance traditions.

Those who have seen Pedro Almodóvar’s magnificent “Talk to Her” will never forget the film’s opening sequence featuring Bausch’s company in a performance that provides themes and meaning for the entire film.

She also worked with Federico Fellini, Chantal Akerman, José Limón and Paul Taylor, among top artists in film, theater and dance.

On Thursday, the first film in the series is “On Tour with Pina Bausch” (“Un Jour Pina a Demandé”), which provides a close-up of the choreographer’s work with her dancers.

On May 13, “The Empress’ Complaint” (“Die Klage der Kaiserin”) screens. The film shows Bausch developing her method with the Wuppertal Theatre of Dance in an early period of her career. At the time, she already was opening up the confines of theater, performing in the woods and fields around town, in the city center, the suspension railway, a carpet shop or a greenhouse.

May 23 will bring two performance films: “Walzer,” an irreverent work from 1982, and “Café Müller,” probably her most famous choreography, about post-war Germany. It reflects her experiences in her family’s café, where she spent many hours watching adults struggling to survive in a war-devastated society.

Another film in the YBCA series is a strange, unforgettable realization of Bartók’s opera, 1977’s “Bluebeard’s Castle” (“Blaubart”) on May 30. Also an early work, it demonstrates Bausch’s challenge to the boundaries between dance and theater through collaborative improvisation and verbal expression.

IF YOU GO
Pina Bausch on Film

Where: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., San Francisco
When: Opens Thursday; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; closes May 30
Tickets: $6 to $8, includes admission to the galleries
Contact: (415) 978-2700, www.ybca.org

Art & MuseumsartsentertainmentfilmPina Bausch

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A San Francisco Unified School District program that gave would-be teachers extra training in the classroom has lost a key partner. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/2019 S.F. Examiner)</ins>
USF ends partnership with SFUSD in teacher residency program

District launched training effort to improve low retention rates for new hires

The Rev. Norman Fong of the Chinatown Community Development Center joined San Francisco city leaders and community partners in a “Campaign for Solidarity” at Civic Center Plaza on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021. (CraigLee/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
City launches ‘Campaign for Solidarity’ to combat racial violence

Mayor London Breed, the city’s Human Rights Commission and community leaders launched… Continue reading

It’s time to break the code of silence and end the stigmatism against infertility, which is fairly common. <ins>(Shuttterstock)</ins>
Struggles with infertility are common

We all can support friends, ask legislators to mandate sppropriate insurance

Foxes, aka Louisa Rose Allen, says she taken back control of her music in recent years. <ins>(Courtesy Hollie Fernando)</ins>
Foxes back with ‘Friends in the Corner’

Pop star doing a lot ‘behind the scene’ since 2016

Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs spoke to San Francisco’s new Guaranteed Income Advisory Group on April 16. (Courtesy SFGOV)
City launches task force to explore Universal Basic Income programs

San Francisco on Friday launched a guaranteed income task force that could… Continue reading

Most Read