"Das Stück mit dem Schiff"

"Das Stück mit dem Schiff" von Pina Bausch

We might as well be at the bottom of the ocean

A review by Fernanda Ermelindo with photos by Ursula Kaufmann

The curtains are open, the lights are on. As soon as you enter the theater you are confronted by the giant ship, tons of sand, and the cliffs making the way to the wreckage. Pina has the power of making one forget where they are.

Wuppertal, 31/01/2022

The black box is no where to be seen. The Pina Bausch experience always starts before the beginning and on "The Piece with the Ship", Peter Pabst brings it full on with his mesmerizing set design.

What marks this restaging almost 30 years after its 1993 premiere in Wuppertal - and its last performance in 1996 in Japan - is the collaboration with the Israeli choreographer Saar Magal. Magal was faced with a not so simple task as the first outside artist to work on a Bausch restaging: bringing the piece to 2022 while keeping its origins. And she nails it.

All the original elements are there and untouched - the narrative, the style, the vulnerability, the strength. A multitude of ones. We see each dancer for who they are, that’s the power of Pina. This becomes even more graspable as the choreography is mainly formed by solos. And in each of these solos we see Pina so clear and we see Magal’s touch bringing the contemporary dance from 2022. She does that by giving room for the dancers to work with the original material and make it their own.

As imposing as the ship is, there is mystery surrounding it. Were the dancers travelers on the ship? Were they rescued? Are they stranded? Are they dead? Most of the times they seem in anguish, like fish out of the water - or a banana without the peel, or needing to pee and not having a bathroom - and then they are all on a playful vacation by the beach. They share their deepest human emotions with us - and some share verbal stories as well.

"The Piece with the Ship" invites you to submerge on a sea of melancholia, loneliness and self reflection.



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