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New German Dance Studies$
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Susan Manning and Lucia Ruprecht

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036767

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036767.001.0001

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Pina Bausch, Mary Wigman, and the Aesthetic of “Being Moved”

Pina Bausch, Mary Wigman, and the Aesthetic of “Being Moved”

(p.182) 11. Pina Bausch, Mary Wigman, and the Aesthetic of “Being Moved”
New German Dance Studies

Sabine Huschka

University of Illinois Press

This chapter rethinks the relationship between Mary Wigman and Pina Bausch from a viewpoint informed by recent philosophical approaches to dance history. Dance research often draws a genealogy that connects Wigman's approach to that of Bausch, the central representative of German Tanztheater as it emerged in the 1970s. However, it is argued Bausch took a fundamentally different position compared to the one propagated by her predecessor: turning her attention away from absolute truth and toward the truthfulness of any given physical movement on stage, while retaining the appeal to feeling, she sought to develop emotionally determined forms of movement and to create a shared space of human experience beyond any essentialism. But what about the choreographed body in these theatrical spaces of experience? How do movements and gestures function to reveal a perspective on the human being? Which choreographic or theatrical means are used, at the discretion of the individual body, to produce an impression of unmediated immediacy? The radical difference between Wigman and Bausch can be detected in their aesthetics of representation, in the way in which they choreograph emotion.

Keywords:   dancers, Pina Bausch, Mary Wigman, dance history, choreography, Tanztheater

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