The Pina Bausch Foundation has endeavoured to keep the artistic legacy of the famous choreographer alive for future generations since it was founded in 2009. On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, it has teamed up with the École des Sables (Senegal) on the joint project “common ground[s]” headed by Germaine Acogny. As its name suggests, the project represents a search for common ground, whereby the participating dancers explore the resonances between different dance traditions and works from Africa and Europe. In the process, they experiment with possible ways to convey knowledge and experience in the field of dance.
The project is divided into two parts. In the first, West African dancers will study Pina Bausch’s choreography of Igor Stravinsky’s masterpiece “Le Sacre du printemps”. Although there are no plans to formally modify the piece, one can expect that the African dancers, whose experience is not rooted in the classical European dance canon, will influence the production through their respective dance training and personal backgrounds. Not only is “Le Sacre du printemps” one of Pina Bausch’s key works, it is also one of the choreographer’s most frequently performed pieces. Although it has been shown at numerous venues around the world since its premiere in 1977, it has never been staged in Africa.
For the second part of the project, Germaine Acogny and Malou Ariaudo will develop a joint piece as a dance duet. Although both artists are over 70 years old, they are still active and possess a trove of dance experience. Germaine Acogny is regarded as a pioneer of contemporary African dance, and Malou Ariaudo has had an illustrious dance career as one of the influential protagonists at the Tanztheater Wuppertal and director of the Institute of Contemporary Dance (IZT) at Folkwang University in Essen. The idea of learning from and communicating with one another is a central motif in their duet. The composer Fabrice Buillon is developing a rhythmic score for the piece with five Senegalese percussionists, which he will record and mash up during the performances.
“Common ground[s]” will be shown four times in Dakar in 2020, followed by a performance at the opera house in Wuppertal. The London-based Sadler’s Well Theatre, which is co-financing the production, is also organising a performance tour through several European and African countries. The filmmaker Florian Heinzen-Ziob will produce a documentary film on the development process.
Artistic directors: Jo Ann Endicott, Patric Acogny (SN)
Choreography: Germaine Acogny (SN) and a former member of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch ensemble
Dates end Venues:
Workshop and audition tour, end of 2019: Centre de Développement Chorégraphique La Termitière, Ouagadougou; Compagnie Ange Aoussou, Abidjan; Centre Culturel Blaise Senghor, Dakar
Workshops, spring 2020: Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Wuppertal; Folkwang University of the Arts; Essen
Performances, spring 2020: Centre Culturel Blaise Senghor, Dakar; Théâtre National Daniel Sorano, Dakar; opera house, Wuppertal; film preview & international symposium, spring 2020: Schauspielhaus (Pina Bausch Zentrum), Wuppertal; international guest performances 2020-2022