Pina (2011) Script

Soon it will be spring again.

Grass sprouting.

Then comes summer, tall grass, sun.

Then comes autumn, leaves falling.

And then... winter.





There are situations, of course, that leave you utterly speechless.

All you can do is hint at things.

Words, too, can't do more than just evoke things.

That's where dance comes in again.

Pina was a painter.

She consistently questioned us.

That's how we became the paint, to colour her images.

For example she'd ask for

"the moon"?

I depicted the word with my body so that she could see and feel it.

I danced in Café Müller myself.

We all have our eyes closed.

When we did a reprise, I couldn't get the feeling back, a feeling that mattered so much to me.

All of a sudden I noticed that it makes a big difference, behind closed eyelids, whether I look down, or like this.

That made all the difference!

The right feeling was there immediately.

Unbelievable how crucial that is.

The tiniest detail matters.

It's all a language that you can learn to read.

We developed the piece in two weeks, Dominique!

The speed was unbelievable!

Amazing how the idea materialised from just a table and four chairs.

Typical Pina! I remember.

Then, bang, chairs! Exactly.

Then, bang! Rolf played with the chairs, and they became integral to the piece.

So beautiful!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. I'm coming!

Kazuo Ohno also left us not too long ago.

I imagine him and Pina up there dancing together... leaping from one cloud to another.

Pina had the most penetrating eyes!

No one has ever read me that way.

Everything I tried or pretended to be disappeared under her gaze.

Instead, she saw something I was afraid of because I didn't know it yet.

Who was Pina?

She combined fragility and strength.

She was also capable of endlessly listening and watching, and overcoming all her limits.

So I imagine her like a house with a huge attic full of treasures.

Pina wasn't going to dance.

You always forgot your moves.

We refused to do it without her!

She got involved because you insisted...

That she showed me the moves? Come off it!

But it's true!

I insisted that she danced.

That was the only way for people to see her on stage!

I never wanted to dance Cafe Müller.

When Pina asked me to dance her part I said yes.

But I never really learned it.

I wanted her to dance forever.

I saw her do Cafe Müller so often.

I wanted to sense what she was feeling.

She moved as if she had a hole in her tummy, as if she'd risen from the dead.

When I'm on stage today, I try to imagine Pina in her pain, but also in her strength and her loneliness.

How often did I dance Café Müller with Pina, and see her hair, back, arms, knew, with my eyes shut, that she was aware of us all!

She saw everything, even with closed eyes!

We danced and laughed all the time.

We were always together until four in the morning to devise something for the next day.

That was at the beginning of the company.

We'd meet at Barmen station every morning for coffee and a roll and go over the day's work.

You always felt more than just human working with Pina.

It was good being an older dancer with Pina!

Well, the younger years were good, too.

I was 24 when I came to Wuppertal.

But at 40, more and more, I thought, "All this space, all these opportunities!"

Pina's eyes turn everything we do into something even more beautiful.

To be old and a child at the same time.

After an awful rehearsal of Iphigenia Pina didn't say a word to me.

Before the performance, she came and said as usual, "Lützchen, be good!"

And I replied as always, "Pinchen, enjoy it!"

She left, turned at the door, and said, "Don't forget, you have to scare me!"

Right away my head started to spin.

That was more to the point than talking for hours.

New in the company, I didn't yet grasp how Pina worked.

And she didn't explain it.

I was lost.

Until I realised I had to pull myself up by my own hair.

This is veal!

What is honesty?

What's our responsibility even when we dance?

Pina taught us to stand for what we do, for every gesture, every step and every move.

Pina always wanted to bring out the best in all her dancers.

Once she told me, "Your fragility is also your strength!"

For Full Moon she requested a gesture related to "joy" or to the pleasure of moving.

The question really inspired me.

From the movement I presented, she created an entire scene.

I was always in a corner or hiding behind someone, when she was giving corrections.

Perhaps because I respected her so much.

Once she caught me.

She asked me with a sad voice, "Ditta, why are you so afraid of me?"

"I didn't do anything."

She was right.

And I gradually lost my shyness.

Sometimes she said things like, "Go on searching!"

But that was all she said.

It meant you had to keep searching without knowing where to look, nor whether you were on the right track.

Pina, I still haven't dreamed about you!

Please visit me in my dreams.

I got news from Daphnis, who dreams of you all the time.

It's not the same.

It would be nice if you showed up!

I'm waiting for you, Pina.

Pina left us so quickly, so surprisingly.

I think that in the end she left everything behind and was free.

That's why I wanted to give her this moment of lightness, this feeling of weightlessness.

As the daughter of Dominique and Malou I was the first child in the company.

I grew up inside the Tanztheater.

Life without Pina?

I just don't know what it is.

When I was new in Wuppertal and confused about a few things, she simply said...

For Pina, the elements were very important.

Whether sand or soil, stones or water...

Somehow, even icebergs and rocks appeared on stage.

When we dance, they become... obstacles.

You have to go against or through them, or climb over them...

Pina was a radical explorer.

She looked deep into our souls.

There was one particular subject she kept asking us about:

What are we longing for?

Where does all this yearning come from?