PINA: A 3D Documentary Film for Pina Bausch Directed by Wim Wenders

Trailer for PINA by Wim Wenders [Credit: MovieManiacsDE]

Of all the dance companies I’ve never seen live, Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal is one of the companies I most regret not having the opportunity to enjoy while she was still alive. Truly one of the greats of contemporary dance theater, Pina Bausch is already deeply missed.

Sadly, as director Wim Wenders was preparing to film the documentary PINA, Bausch passed on. Yet, so many of those who knew and worked with Pina Bausch felt he should continue, that Wenders returned to the project and created PINA, featuring both live footage shot in 3D along with embedded archival footage of Basuch at work and solos by the dancers.

Clip from PINA: Azuza Seyama & Fabien Prioville [Credit: MovieManiacsDE]

PINA was released this month in Europe after premiering at the Berlin Film Festival. It subsequently won the best documentary award at the Germany Film Academy Awards.

Reviews of the film have described it as “thrilling and revelatory” and the use of 3D is praised as moving beyond typical Hollywood product.

Clip from PINA: The Rite of Spring [Credit: MovieManiacsDE]

The official site for PINA has a great deal of information about the movie which grew out of the initial meeting of Pina Bausch and Wim Wenders after Wenders saw a production of Café Müller in 1985. But it was not until seeing the 3D concert film, U2-3D, that Wenders found a way to adequately document the work of Pina Bausch. They finally began in 2008 but on June 30th 2009, two days before the 3D rehearsal shoot, Pina Bausch passed away.

Responding to the loss with the inclusion of archival footage in addition to filmed performances, an additional element was added based on Bausch’s working methods with the dancers in which she would ask them to respond to questions with improvised movement. Wenders invited company members to share their memories and responses to Bausch through individual solo performances filmed in and around Wuppertal, the home of Tanztheater Wuppertal.

I’m so looking forward to seeing this documentary. It will be a rare trip to the movie theater for me and I can’t wait for its release in the U.S.

Official Site: PINA