The Pina Bausch Editions take a largely documentary look at the work of Pina Bausch and her companions. By launching a film series in autumn 2019, the Pina Bausch Foundation introduced a new format of the Pina Bausch Editions, by which more film versions of pieces by Pina Bausch will be made available online and for free at editions.pinabausch.org.
As debut, video footage of the piece Palermo Palermo, which was taken shortly after the piece’s premiere in 1989, has been digitally restored. Thanks to a grant from the Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States, the material produced by Metrovision was acquired from the publishing house L’Arche Éditeur and has now been cut into a film version by the Pina Bausch Foundation.
The Pina Bausch Foundation, thus, provides not only an insight into the materials preserved in the Pina Bausch Archives, but also gives an impression of how these could be experienced once the digital Pina Bausch Archives are launched.
An official premiere was held at the foyer of the former Schauspielhaus in Wuppertal on the 26th of October 2019. 200 guests were able to experience the film on screen in advance to its online start and combined with an audience discussion.
During the round table, Leoluca Orlando (Mayor of the City of Palermo, Italy), Jan Minarik (former ensemble member of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch), Matthias Burkert (musical collaboration Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch) and Ismaël Dia (Director of the Pina Bausch Archives) exchanged views on the play, the film and the Pina Bausch Archives together with moderator Prasanna Oommen. The audience could join in on the conversation.
Ismaël Dia told about the sifting, selecting and editing of the film material. Together with Matthias Burkert and Jan Minarik - of which both were involved in the creation of the piece - he dealt with the matter of subjectivity closely related to the editing process. Often the camera angles would show detailed shots and close ups of certain moments on stage. These had to be combined carefully to reflect the overall mood on stage. With a film version, in contrast to a theatre visit, the viewer’s gaze onto the stage scenery would be guided: „the only objectivity that there is, is an evening at the theatre“ said Ismaël Dia. With this new format, the round table participants would like to find new ways of preserving Pina Bausch's work by allowing the pieces to speak for themselves and thereby, reach new generations.
Simultaneously with the online launch on November 3, a film screening took place at Teatro Biondo (Palermo, Italy), which co-produced the play in 1989.