I love my dancers – A TANZFONDS ERBE project (2014)

“I love my dancers. They are beautiful. And I am trying to show how beautiful their insides are. I love my dancers, each in another way.” – Pina Bausch from her speech “What Moves Me”

“I love my dancers” is a publication and a performance that explores the works of Pina Bausch and Tanztheater Wuppertal in 1977 and 1978. It was during those years, that Pina Bausch began creating her first Tanztheater works. The focus on each dancers lived experience as material in the creation of her work, together with the particular way of framing that material inside each performance, created a new form of working relation. This way of work, prophetic at the time, became widely popular since then, both in the dance world and beyond. Breaking out of the existing artistic and social environment of both West-German political theatre as well as the modern dance, made her works exceptional until today.

The publication is composed of interviews with artists, journalists and academics, whose paths crossed with Pina Bausch paths during the late 1970s. Weaving those individual life stories together with their relation to the Bausch’ works, a picture of the wider artistic and socio-political climate of West Germany at that moment of history appears. In this picture, the events and concerns of the time are told anew, allowing for a complex and differentiated perspective on the history of dance.

The performance “I love my dancers” is series of short constructed conversations. It’s an expression of nostalgia, bewilderment, resentment and longing to an decade in German history – the 70s. The conversations focus around the year 1977 in Wuppertal and a development of an new kind of theater – Tanzteater. In this work one performer represents the early generation of Pina Basuch’s Tanzteater and the other performer represents a younger generation of theater makers today. The two performers talk and dance and confront their world views and understanding about theater and its context. They discuss about labor relations in Tanzteater Wuppertal, the atmosphere in Wuppertal and west Germany in the 70s, the relation between politics and theater at the time etc’. These discussions are based on interviews publication.

Publication – edited by Franziska Aigner and Uri Turkenich, featuring interviews with Raimund Hoghe, Susanne Linke, Dominique Mercy, William Forsythe and more.

Performance – by and with Geraldo Si and Uri Turkenich | Artistic collaboration: Benjamin Pohlig, Gerald Siegmund, Jasna Layes Vinovrski, Sebastian Schulz | Light design: Catalina Fernández | Stage and graphic design – Janina Arendt | Production: ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro | Press: björn & björn

A production by Uri Turkenich. Funded by TANZFONDS ERBE – An initiative by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Special thanks to Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt a. M. and Uferstudios Berlin.

You can see a video of selected scenes from the performance here –