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Recherche, Vorbereitung und Interview
Research, Preparation and Interview
Ricardo Viviani

Interviewte Person
Interviewee
Anne Martin

Kamera
Camera
Sala Seddiki

Transkription
Transcript
Ricardo Viviani

Lektorat
Proofreading
Gertraud Johne

Übersetzung
Translation
Steph Morris

© Pina Bausch Foundation

Translation (English)

Chapter 1

Beginning in Wuppertal, Opera, Musicals

00:24


Chapter 1.1

Memories from the beginning

00:24

Ricardo Viviani:

Between yesterday and today, what went through your mind?


Anne Martin:

Strangely I was remembering the really early days here. Yesterday we mentioned how we toured to Solingen, Leverkusen and Remscheid, but in those years the new people who were there also danced in operas. We didn’t like it. The first year it was King Arthur by Purcell. We played the earth, with sacks; Hans Pop did the choreography and we had to do movements with fabric, linen and stuff: making the sea... (gestures wave movements) King Arthur was during the creation of Keuschheitslegende. Pina had already started working with Meryl, Jo and Jan on it. Lutz, Beatrice and I were cross we had to be in an opera. We went to Pina and said, ‘Pina, we’d like to be in the rehearsals too.’ (laughs) Thinking about it, on our own none of us would have dared to do that. But we hadn’t come there to be in operas. She understood our position. After that we were allowed to be in the rehearsals. She explained, however, that currently our contracts obliged us to be in the operas too. We were the ballet company for Wuppertal Opera House, even if it were called Tanztheater [‘dance theatre’]. Later, I’m not sure which year it was we did the first ever opera by Richard Wagner, which he wrote at the age of 19. It goes on four or five hours. It’s called The Fairies. All the women in the group had to do it, including Jo and Monika Sagon – Meryl wasn’t there any more. There was an island which moved to the front and we were the fairies on it. They wanted us to wear pre-Raphaelite wigs but we hated it so much we said, ‘No, we’re not wearing them.’ So every time we had a show we put tiny plaits in our hair so that in the evening it was all… (gestures big hair) We played cards because the opera was so long and we weren’t in all of it. But it was amusing, because we were all in it and there weren’t so many performances. Later she organised it so that we all had soloists’ contracts. At the beginning, every time we spoke or sung we would get a bit more money for those few lines. After a while that made no sense, because it was so complicated. Then she got the contracts changed so we didn’t have to do the operettas and operas and everything else was included.


Chapter 1.2

Dancers as choreographers

04:22

Ricardo Viviani:

At that time there was also a special programme ‘Dancers as choreographers’, in the foyer. Were you part of that?


Anne Martin:

No, not at that point. Later, much later, all of us did things with other people. When I lived in Luisenstraße I met Peter Kowald. He had no idea about dance. We started improvising together. There was a hall in the adult education college where we could work and we met there and did a few performances, sometimes with Joëlle Léandre, another bassist, who was French. That was wonderful, but he didn’t know the group at that point. Gradually he became part of the group, when Peter created this space ‘ORT’, after he’d been in Africa for a year; it was an exchange with artists from Germany, musicians, visual artists, who lived in a village in Africa for a year to see what they could create in that location. They met, made music, created this and that. When he came back he really wanted to set up a space where every Saturday everyone could come and make something. Of course lots of people from the company improvised there and did little solos. Peter Kowald knew musicians from all over the world. When people travelled through Germany they came there too. It lasted a year and then it went bankrupt, totally bankrupt. He said to me, ‘I can’t do it any more.’ For one year he decided he only wanted to do concerts where he could go with his legs. He rode a tricycle around with his bass on his back. He really did it – I’ve seen photos of it. On a horse once too. He really tried to do something local. It was a great idea of course. When it was gone everyone said, ‘Ah, we really miss it. We want to carry on.’ I don’t know what’s become of it today.


Chapter 1.3

Peter Kowald – Well recieved

07:18

Ricardo Viviani:

Did a lot of people come?


Anne Martin:

Yes, always. It was all for free. You could bring your own drinks. Later he organised the drinks. Of course the money soon ran out. It was always, always full. It was great.


Chapter 1.4

Spare time?

07:46

Ricardo Viviani:

Did you have the time for it?


Anne Martin:

From time to time, when we were in town. At the time I lived in Luisenstraße, then I went there a lot – when we were there, when we weren’t on tour.


Chapter 2

About New York and Gebirge: Zeitgeist

08:09


Chapter 2.1

Creation of On the Mountain ...

08:09

Ricardo Viviani:

Let’s talk about Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei gehört (On the Mountain a Cry was heard). What was the process like? How did it emerge? What was the creative phase like?


Anne Martin:

When I think about it, I think it was a difficult time for everyone – for me, at any rate, and certainly for Pina. She was trying to change from the path she’d taken so far, but wasn’t sure how. For me it was a very difficult time, after yet more heartache and hepatitis and all that. I was on a downhill slope. After that I went up again. That’s life.
I was very close to Pina, and we were still working together a lot despite all this. This was when I brought in the cassette with the wartime sounds. It became a very powerful piece, for me, a work about crying out for life – with that expanse of earth. It was a wonderful piece.
The working process still involved her asking the questions. I think there were always moments in that group when you want to do something else, suggest something else, but you are just yourself. (laughs) Pina often asked, if not the exact same questions, then ones in similar areas. For instance, ‘finding love’ was a question which kept recurring. Of course now I think you could do thousands of different things in response to that question. At some point you feel a bit restricted. That’s just the way it is. Still it is a very strong piece, I think.


Chapter 2.2

Music

10:36

Ricardo Viviani:

Were you closely involved with music again at this point?


Anne Martin:

I don’t know any more. I can’t remember which year that was even. 1983-84 season.

I think Jo was actually living with me, or was very close to me. It was the spring piece; there weren’t winter pieces any more. If it was ’84 then we went to Venice and New York.


Chapter 2.3

First US tour

11:35

Anne Martin, Ricardo Viviani:

The first North America tour: Los Angeles and New York. Maybe we should talk a little about that.


Anne Martin:

My experience of New York has always been as an energizing city. When you’re in that town there’s energy in the place. We did shows at BAM. Harvey Lichtenstein was great. He always said, ‘Terrific, it’s terrific!’ (laughs) We started getting to know people and our spare time was very lively. We went dancing all night. For me it was as if, because of the things which were so powerful in the pieces, and perhaps weren’t going so well in my private life, I tried to get lots of air circulating the rest of the time. In the end it’s all just circulating air.

New York BAM New York Performance of “Café Müller” by Pina Bausch at BAM New York (USA), June 12, 1984

Chapter 2.4

Pina and New York

13:11

Ricardo Viviani:

Did you get a sense of how Pina felt when she was in New York? She’d been in New York before; now she was there with her company. What did you do together?


Anne Martin:

I think it was that year that we went with Dominique to a studio, Trisha Brown’s I think. We visited Paul Taylor and Manuel Alum too. We discovered this whole life there, and all these people doing underground things, really with lots of energy. I don’t think you can live any other way in New York.


Chapter 2.5

Play globally, create locally

14:09

Ricardo Viviani:

Did you get the feeling that the creation was done in Wuppertal, using all these impressions, but the company was active throughout the world?


Anne Martin:

I wouldn’t have put it like that at the time. In those years, ’83, ’84, a lot of people from the group – Jean-François Duroure, Bénédicte Billiet – lived in the Luisenviertel district, not Héléna Pikon; she was in Barmen. We lived there and we were in the Café du Congo every night and there we met Peter Kowald and Peter Brötzmann. They made all this crazy music. A friend of mine who was Secretaire de Direction for years at the Maison de la Danse in Lyon, when she came to see us for the first time in Wuppertal, she said, ‘It feels like being in New York here.’ It was really effervescent – can I say that? There were lots of venues where people made crazy music. Peter Kowald always brought friends along. He had been in Mongolia and met Sainkho Namtchylak, the singer, who settled in Germany. He knew musicians from the GDR who invited him there. He knew some crazy Japanese musicians, a trumpeter and a drummer who just hit sheets of metal. Very, very crazy people. We were swimming in this kind whirlpool, as it were.


Chapter 2.6

Travel enriches

16:17

Anne Martin:

Of course we were in New York as a dance group. We didn’t have money problems; we felt very free there. The people I really got to know well there, a dancer, friend of Peter Kowald, and another woman who’d been there since the ‘70s… In the ‘70s Soho was an ugly district where people lived in lofts, taught and danced there. And we really admired these people’s courage. I think any travelling you do where you really get close to people, and don’t visit a country in a touristy, folkloric way but actually meet people, is bound to change you. Every country has definitely taught me something, something changes in my understanding of people, of the world. Even coming to Germany as a French-speaking Swiss person, having heard so many stories from the war years as a child, and then being here and meeting people like Ilse and Dorothea Hackenberg. Lots of people I met had suffered in the war. You couldn’t talk about the good French and the bad Germans any more. It became increasingly clear that the reality, a reality – there are many realities – is much subtler, that there are people everywhere who have to carry on living. Back to your question: I think every country taught us something.


Chapter 3

Legacy of Pina Bausch in the development of dance

19:12


Chapter 3.1

Pina Bausch and dance in France

19:13

Ricardo Viviani:

Yesterday I was asking about France and Pina’s influence on the dance scene there, about arts policy and Pina, how Pina influenced dance there. In that period, in the 1980s, you can see Pina’s interest in a language of gesture, already in Nelken, more strongly later in Viktor. How did this develop?


Anne Martin:

Already in Macbeth, in Renate: Pina talks very nicely about it in that 2006 film by Anne Linsel, how she was always looking for what was beautiful in each person, getting it to come out on stage, rather than always a learned gesture. Then she went much further in that direction. But as I said yesterday there were a lot of people in France – Daniel Larrieu and other people – who just took the gesture aspect, the superficial side, without asking what led someone to work with gestures. The whole of Kontakthof is made of them. It’s all just the tiny gestures: towards yourself, or someone else, or aggressive, or as if someone was there and you had the memory of their skin on your hand… When I joined the group it was very much along those lines. It’s hard for me to analyse because I lived it from the inside. What I can see is that she was continually broadening it.


Chapter 3.2

Dance as communication

21:29

Ricardo Viviani:

One thing which is very interesting about Pina’s various statements is the means of communication; what do we communicate with movement, in dance, between people altogether.


Anne Martin:

Nazareth says in Nelken, of course: ‘I started dancing because I found it easier than talking.’ I think we were all a small part of Pina; she identified a part of herself in each of us. That is really lovely. I think every choreographer has that. Gradually she stopped asking the six-times questions – six responses to ‘Shit, I got that wrong,’ or six times ‘Do I smell nice?’ Then she broadened it out a bit. One question was a total block for me because I couldn’t find anything for it: ‘Letting something positive grow.’ That was it. Now it sounds very simple, but I got a block with that sentence. She expanded the questions more and more. And asked people… For instance, Meryl’s solo in 1980 was full of tiny fragments of various questions, Jo in Walzer too; they are tiny fragments she put together.


Chapter 4

Creation of Viktor

23:21


Anne Martin, Ricardo Viviani:

On Viktor we worked differently. What was the piece before Viktor? (laughs) Gebirge maybe?


Chapter 4.1

Trapeze: fail and fall

23:33

Anne Martin:

After Gebirge I got very down. One day I was in Paris with some friends and I saw there was a trapeze course. I thought, ‘I have to do that.’ I took unpaid leave from the company. She wanted to do Two Cigarrettes with fewer people anyway. I lived in Paris for a couple of months and learned trapeze. I loved it. You really had to just do it or you fell down. It wasn’t complicated. You had to do the right movements otherwise you fell. It was really great, great to work with that momentum too. Before that I’d started working on my voice. I’d always had a very natural voice; I found it easy to sing. Ever since I was a child I’ve loved to sing. Meryl had been having singing lessons with a soprano in Briller Viertel, and I went to her too. She always said, ‘You have to laugh from above: Ah ha, ha, ha, haha.’ She was funny and very sweet. Her husband was much older than her; he was a conductor. But I felt more restricted by it than anything and at some point I started voice training with Dorothea Hackenberg. She and her husband had been very, very close to Rolf and Pina earlier. They really helped them a lot, with legal matters too, and sat with them for hours in the restaurant. She gave piano and singing lessons. So I started singing with her too. It was really amazing because she really sung from her bones, vibrating throughout her body. Suddenly there was something starting to open up again.


Chapter 4.2

Momentum and grandmother's rolls

25:46

Anne Martin:

So when we started on Viktor, I’d just come back from Paris. I had the whole momentum thing from the trapeze work. I said to Pina, ‘I’ve been doing all that in Paris. Do you want to see? Maybe we could use it in the piece.’ That became the circus ring passages, very beautiful. The bread roll thing was a memory of my grandmother, who always prepared us a little gouter [snack]: bread with jam and butter. In Viktor I appear first, then all the other women at the table with lots of rolls and butter, or margarine, and jam. Then we gave them to the audience.


Chapter 4.3

Contribution of ideas

26:49

Ricardo Viviani:

That was another idea you suggested?


Anne Martin:

There were lots more too. We worked very closely with Pina, including the dance movements, Héléna too in her own way. It was a very creative time, a very nice, powerful time. I played my little accordion then too, a French song by Fréhel first: (sings) ‘ou sont tous mes amants’ – ‘where are all my lovers?’ (laughs) Then she brought in an Italian song. Or was it the other way round? No I think the French one first. That was something she changed! We also had that line (gestures with her hands) which we created with Jean-François. The thing with the planks, with the long arms; she had asked for, ‘extra long arms.’ So I picked up two planks.
Yes, or, ‘Some words someone once said to you which totally floored you.’ For that I used a memory of mine where I had been out in the snow with my former lover one evening after a party and he was blind drunk. I wanted to help him and he said, ‘Get lost! Leave me alone! What do you want from me?’ Everything I said in the piece then. And she asked me to say it to Rolando and then to the audience.


Ricardo Viviani:

You do it very forcefully.


Chapter 4.4

Woman in the red dress

28:52

Anne Martin:

And then we were in Rome, two or three weeks. I always loved Italy. I have very good friends there. When I had hepatitis and was in hospital for seven weeks, I just dreamt of a little street, a table with a white cloth on it, spaghetti and red wine, in Italy. It was very nice in Rome. I felt free to suggest whatever came into my head.
Yes it took me a long time, till Viktor I think, to answer a question. ‘A broken victory,’ was the question. I did a few things again and again and again. At some point, after several responses, I had the idea of putting on this red dress with my arms behind my back, and that became the beginning of the piece. I learned something there. Till then I was always a bit insecure: ‘That’s silly. Don’t do that.’ I always judged myself instead of just doing what came into my head, into my heart. I needed a long time for that.
Jan Minařík was a genius in that sense, but of course he’d known Pina since the beginning. He always did what came to him. After that it was much easier of course. Instead of thinking, ‘No, I can’t do that. That’s silly,’ just do it! Then it’s gone and you can move on, you see?


Chapter 4.5

Safe environment

30:49

Ricardo Viviani:

Yes. How did Pina manage to create that space, to build that trust?


Anne Martin:

It’s something you just sense. It’s not something you can describe. I think in retrospect she sometimes guessed when someone – me, or in another piece someone else – was ready to come out with something, which perhaps she had seen all along, but which you might not necessarily have seen yourself. Then you just sensed between her and us, or her and me, that the way was clear. She managed to see what was special in us anyway, what was particular, and also see when we were ready to take it further.
I once tried a movement, something made up – for me it was made up. She said to me, ‘What are you doing there?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. I just made it up.’ Later I saw it was in Orpheus or IphigeniaOrpheus it was – but I’d never seen that piece at the time. Voilà!
For me it took a long time.


Chapter 4.6

Woman in the red dress 2

32:25

Ricardo Viviani:

That opening scene, the woman with the red dress, for a performer it’s a very brave start to the piece. You go to centre stage and smile. How was that for you? Did you have to overcome nerves?


Anne Martin, Ricardo Viviani:

No, no. After a few years the good thing about this work, and I try to teach it to others, is that when you’ve found something in yourself and experienced it, it’s there and you can find it again. And I only had to… (smiles); I stand there and smile. It wasn’t acting; it was something that was in me probably, this beaming but with no arms. It can provoke so many different reactions. Some people in France talked about those children who didn’t have arms, after that medication. (Thalidomide)
Lots of reactions, but for me it was just ‘a broken victory’. The question was very beautiful too.


Chapter 4.7

How to transmit this?

34:03

Ricardo Viviani:

What’s it like passing on an idea like that, a scene like that? How do you teach it to another person? Do you have any experience of that?


Anne Martin:

Only for 1980, because I was still here in Wuppertal. She asked us. I think I made notes for 1980 and Arien: everything I do in the piece. And for a few days I taught it to Julie Shanahan, but not Viktor. I think they learned it from a video. They never asked me.


Chapter 4.8

Coaching

34:41

Ricardo Viviani:

What would you say to a person who had to play that role?


Anne Martin:

Once I worked with Breanna on the dance from 1980. It should have been Héléna but she’d broken her arm. Héléna is great. She said, ‘I’d love to work just with you.’ I still have all the details, which were so important in Pina’s pieces, in my flesh, in my heart (shows movements). For instance… (dances). They didn’t have that. They just go… (dances). That’s not it. It was… (dances) and afterwards it falls into something else. Sadly a little bit gets lost afterwards. As I said, I actually once relearned a dance from Viktor – the bride’s dance with the white sheet. She gave me permission, for the fiftieth anniversary of the school in Cannes. I knew a few of the movements, but not all of it. I couldn’t remember all the little details. But when I watched the video gradually it all came back, not consciously, not in my intellectual consciousness, but it came. You couldn’t see the little movements properly on the video.


Chapter 4.9

Body memory

36:17

Ricardo Viviani:

Is it a surprise for yourself to discover, ‘Oh I can still do it.’


Anne Martin:

Yes it is rather nice. It’s a great feeling. I danced it on the stage and thought, ‘Man, you know I’m twenty years older. Perhaps this won’t actually work.’ (laughs) It really was a bride’s dance; originally I was young and fresh but by then I wasn’t young and fresh any more. But I did it, and loved doing it again. I was right back in the piece again.
Once I saw the group in Lyon. I was in the wings. They did that line. (dances the Nelken line) I could easily have gone out to them and joined in, no problem. That’s how strong it is. It has totally impregnated me, as it were.


Chapter 4.10

Gender awareness

37:21

Ricardo Viviani:

The bride’s dance – that brings me to another subject which is often discussed: gender. Two men, right and left, and the woman dances and is very exposed. These men are smoking, busy with something, then suddenly the old woman comes along, wants to give her cigarettes but she has her own. As a woman, with gender awareness, today and then of course: the role of women presented there, how…


Anne Martin:

I’ve never thought about it. There’s no point. For instance, in one of the rehearsals the men came in with the sheet. I’d forgotten part of my costume so I ran out again. She said, ‘That’s good. Keep that in.’ That stayed in the piece, the bit where she comes in then runs out again to fetch a piece of clothing. For me it was, if not a punishing journey, a journey you had to do. I’ve never seen the piece, but I think when you see that white sheet and the two men, it relates to traditions, in Italy, and everywhere really, where you’re supposed to show that white sheet after a wedding. But at that time I didn’t give it any thought at all. It was a time, I think, when I didn’t want to be suppressed any more. That’s why I had my own cigarettes. That woman’s dance for me was like going into a field to do farm work. As we started I always said, ‘Yes! Women, let’s go to the field!’ (dances and sings) I could still dance that.


Chapter 4.11

Yes, no

40:03

Ricardo Viviani:

There’s one scene from Viktor we still haven’t discussed: the sequence with ‘Non.’ Such a charming scene. How was it created?


Anne Martin:

Ah, oui! ‘Non, non, non, non.’ (dances and sings) Like so often, there were small gestures and large gestures. This (gestures) must have been from Pina, some of the others were probably from me. I can’t remember. She asked me to do something with it, because for one of the questions, ‘When someone comes to me and I always say “no”’, that was what I did.


Chapter 4.12

Collecting and using music

40:49

Ricardo Viviani:

Did the music come later? Did the dance come first?


Anne Martin:

Perhaps you can help me. Had we been to Palermo already? Through a Sicilian friend in Italy I managed to get some really traditional music, and Matthias Burkert was always looking too. We had this one Sicilian traditional song. (sings) She always had a little case full of cassettes, and she had tracks with her which she sometimes tried for years, and at some point that piece of music would find its place. There was one in Viktor too: that wonderful dance Héléna does on the ground. It’s a South American piece she’d already tried a few years ago in various pieces, but in this piece it was right.
That was the first time we’d worked in another city.


Chapter 4.13

Co-production

42:19

Ricardo Viviani:


Anne Martin:

And I always felt happy travelling.


Chapter 4.14

Activities in Rome

42:29

Ricardo Viviani:

Two weeks in Rome and the various things you got up to there. Could you perhaps describe a few of the places you visited there?


Anne Martin:

I’ve just remembered that through someone or another Pina found a place where elderly people danced. We found that in several countries, including South America. We were there one evening and the old men came and invited us to dance. And I think that’s in the piece too, a bit where we dance with old men. Things like that were very beautiful. We were in the middle of the city and she suddenly asked a question – I’m not sure if I said that already. I was looking for a plucked chicken, and doing something with headphones and doing this (dances) with my chicken, hanging there. (laughs) It was a bit – how can I put it? – macabre, or trashy.


Anne Martin:

It was the first time we’d done it in another city. After the rehearsals of course we went out and watched things, saw things on the street. Every day she said, ‘I’ll be asking you each day what you’ve seen in the city?’ There were a few things, for instance when Urs and Melanie kiss and Urs is constantly looking to see if the traffic lights are on green for pedestrians. Or those three women waiting tables; they saw that in the city. Elena Majnoni was there. She wasn’t in the group any more; she left after Gebirge. Her friend was – and I guess still is – a real Roman who loved his city, and he knew (gestures) so many strange places which he took us to: churches with crypts under them where the monks had decorated everything with bones, with skulls, very beautifully done, but it was a bit macabre. All things you could visit. Or the catacombs: there’s a little train; you sit there and go down, down, down. I felt sick down there. I nearly fainted. Lots of strange things in Rome which weren’t the glamourous things they showed the tourists, rather perhaps the dark side of Rome. That was great. That was my experience of course; we didn’t always go out together in one big group.


Ricardo Viviani:

The underworld of prostitutes, transvestites? Did they come into it?


Anne Martin:

Probably. I wasn’t there myself. Jean Sasportes may have experienced that. I don’t know exactly. Perhaps at that venue where we were dancing. We weren’t together everywhere.


Chapter 4.15

Piece coming together in the Lichtburg

46:25

Anne Martin:

It wasn’t as focussed as in the Lichtburg, but we were full of the experiences there. It was the first time we’d worked on part of a piece in another city. Then we came back to Wuppertal. At some point Pina said that most of the piece was generated in Wuppertal. I don’t know if that’s true, but she certainly thought we were more focussed here. Then we were back in Rome to perform the piece, Viktor, and Fellini was there in the auditorium with his wife! After the show they came onstage with flowers and presented them to us. It was so emotional, because Fellini is a massive, massive filmmaker. I’m not sure if Pina had already worked with him. Not yet? Then he probably asked her after that. He liked Melanie a lot too, who was very (gestures) opulent in that role.
Voilà. That’s all I can remember about Rome.
Of course when we came home and carried on working we were still infused with all those impressions, all those colours. I think each of us found something of ourselves in relationship to it. Dominique’s role is amazing too, but it didn’t come precisely from Rome. When he plays the old woman it’s more southern Italy. That’s why I was wondering if we had already been to Palermo. We met a young man, Ferruccio Nobile Migliore, and I started singing and playing my accordion. He is Sicilian but he lives in Rome and he found some old songs for me. Matthias Burkert was also looking for recordings of really traditional songs. I think that music when Jacob and Dominique are dancing is probably, if I’m not mistaken – check that, as I’m not sure – a song from Sardinia and that song ‘Veni la primavera…’ (sings), the women’s working dance, is definitely Sicilian.


Chapter 4.16

Chaos

49:33

Ricardo Viviani:

Those crazy scenes have titles. Could we talk about those titles briefly? Chaos?


Anne Martin:

The Chaos Scene. Yes, she said to us, ‘Using movements you’ve already created, you’re there and you want to cross the stage but you can’t touch the ground, because something on the stage may be poisonous, certainly dangerous.’ That’s why we all did something – I think I had a table, I don’t remember, and a plank – to try and get to the other side in an emergency, without touching the ground. That was the title of that scene.


Ricardo Viviani:

Perhaps it’s very far-fetched, but at that time, 1986, the Chernobyl disaster had happened in Russia and everyone here in Europe was very scared about radioactivity. As an artist you aren’t isolated from the world, of course.


Anne Martin:

Sure. I have to say Pina always had an incredible intuition and instinct for what was going on. Had Chernobyl already happened? Also, lots of people saw connections with my lack of arms (gestures) which didn’t come from the questions at all. At one point someone eats a salad; after Chernobyl you weren’t allowed to eat salads any more. Yes, of course it’s related. She listened to the news. She read the papers. People talked to her. We talked about the things which happened. She was certainly affected by world events. But, as I said before about Gebirge, she always sought an indirect route: ‘Ok, Chernobyl has happened. We can’t touch the ground any more!’ Then we’d have done something deliberately relating to Chernobyl. But when she asked the question (gestures ‘who knows?’) I didn’t even think about Chernobyl. She simply said, ‘You can’t touch the ground.’ I don’t even think she said anything about danger. ‘Without touching the ground,’ just that. In an emergency, so as quickly as possible.
Yes, it was that way of leaving the questions as open as possible so we had the chance to respond with something, make something. And thanks to that she generally found a way to express that feeling she had in her stomach, which still didn’t have a form, and through that we could respond to it. Yes, that’s true about Chernobyl.


Chapter 4.17

Jan shovelling

53:14

Anne Martin:

Of course that incredible stage set too, Jan continually shovelling. Obviously it’s about digging too. But endings and death are always very present in Pina’s world. Not always like this (gestures ‘suffering’), but death is part of life.


Chapter 5

About Ahnen and Touring

53:45


Chapter 5.1

Ahnen: A transition piece

53:45

Ricardo Viviani:

Ahnen.


Anne Martin:

Ahnen. That was another passage, an ordeal, perhaps because I was pregnant soon afterwards. I think perhaps for Pina too. That piece was very mysterious. She asked for lots of memories from our countries, the countries we all came from. I did that thing with bells and a mask. Of course for me Switzerland is several countries. I’m from French Switzerland, where there aren’t many traditions left, but in German Switzerland, in the smaller cantons such as Appenzell, there are still some beautiful traditions, where the shepherds wear masks at New Year to banish the evil spirits, and dance with bells. But the bells, I have to say, came from Sardinia. I bought them in Sardinia.


Chapter 5.2

Mask -–Sisyphus work

55:10

Ricardo Viviani:

Wasn’t the mask you had from the Andes?


Anne Martin:

The mask was from Peru, from our South America tour. At some point during the rehearsals for Ahnen it went down to –20° and I was so cold I came in one day wearing a woolly balaclava with only the eyes and mouth showing. Pina thought it was so great she tried it on immediately. Then it stayed in the piece. Then she wanted me to have a mask with my smile on it. I observed it all, but didn’t even try to catch the thread because there were so many things and those cacti do actually spike you, and the lights were also very mysterious. That waiting moment, where I roll up wool from a bucket of water, then put it back in the water again. The question was ‘something about time,’ something relating to time. I had a bucket of water and I just rolled the wool up. (gestures). I was looking to see if the birds were coming, but there weren’t any birds. (gestures rolling wool again) When I’d finished I held one end of the wool and let the other drop back into the water, then started rolling it up again. Or there was Julie Stanzak with her painted hearts (gestures ‘in her face’), with that candle. And for the first time she didn’t show us any movements. She asked us to do movements with our names. She asked us, ‘Can you do a phrase with your names? You can do it like this (gestures writing with a finger in the air) or you can make huge great movements with your names of course.’ Your birthday. What else, I can’t remember. Then she wanted everyone to learn my phrase. We rehearsed, rehearsed, rehearsed. Then she changed the music. It was constantly changing. I went to her at one point and said, ‘Pina I don’t feel I have any new ideas.’ She didn’t say no. (laughs). She was delighted that I’d been honest. I was very unhappy. But we still danced. On the stage we all did that phrase to some very nice music. Then the music changed again, as fast as possible. Then there was something with – what’s it called when someone sleeps while they’re walking? – sleepwalking. Then I walked down the balcony with the mask on. Well, and she kept the dance with the bells for the opening dance. I never saw the piece but I knew that Antonio was dancing a South-Italian dance with knives at the back. I found the juxtaposition very nice. Everything was strange, in different ways, but I think in the end it was a very beautiful piece. (laughs)
She may have had more of those traditional things in it. That walk we do, where the women do this (gestures) – I forget what the men do. That’s Native American language. That is ‘woman’ (gestures) but I forget what ‘man’ is – that line. Kyomi did a dance on tin cans. It might not have seemed so aesthetically pleasing, but in the end it was aesthetic, incredibly beautiful. She had an enormous wind machine. Things were flying across the stage. It relates to the world today, I now realise. I didn’t think about that at the time, but now I do. Towards the end she had the idea Jan could carry a bag full of water and I’d be in the bag. I said, ‘Sure, we can try it.’ It didn’t work. Then she got a glass coffin made, full of water, and I lay in it. Then it came to the front and I played the piano. All very strange. Someone in Paris said to me, ‘Anne, now you have to get out of the water and dance. You’re not yourself any more.’
But it was still wonderful to do that. You can’t always be full throttle. (gestures ‘power’) She used me as what I was at that time. And I think it’s beautiful, ingenious.


Chapter 5.3

Japanese tour

01:01:18

Anne Martin:

We were in Japan. I think she pushed Kyomi to the forefront at bit. We have a dance on chairs, all the women (gestures) which is a little Japanese. The first time was wonderful. We were in Tokyo. We danced at the biggest theatre in Japan. The audience didn’t applaud; that’s a sign of great respect in Japan. It may have changed a bit today. At first we didn’t understand it; it was rather strange. I didn’t really like it in Japan. I found it a very tough country. For instance, you weren’t allowed to open the windows in the hotel. They have more of a sense of hierarchy than in Germany. No really means no. Now I think I would like to go back to Japan, but to go to the countryside. Although lots of things were really great, and the performances were wonderful. We did Sacre and, I think, Kontakthof.


Chapter 5.4

Café Müller in Italy

01:03:07

Ricardo Viviani:

Did you do Café Müller in Italy again?


Anne Martin:

Just Café Müller? Was that afterwards – 1988?


Chapter 5.5

Season 1988/89: Filming The Complaint of an Empress

01:03:19

Ricardo Viviani:

Yes. Ok, then let’s go to the next season. In that season there was no new production.


Anne Martin:

Did we shoot the film?


Ricardo Viviani:

Yes, the film was shot.


Anne Martin:

Right. And my former husband [Detlef Erler] was the assistant cameraman. She didn’t give us any movements either. She said, ‘Some kind of object you really like – describe it.’ And I chose a bicycle, any kind of object. It became a dance. I enjoyed that a lot.
We spent a lot of time waiting, waiting for a phone call. She might say, ‘It’s your turn tomorrow, or yours.’ Then you’d wait all day because, as is always the way with film, everything is delayed. We were a bit lost, each in our corner. I found the film very beautiful in the end. She had filmed God knows how many hours and managed to get it down to one and a half – more than 200 I think. I’m not sure, perhaps more.


Chapter 5.6

Tour of Eastern Europe

01:04:53

Ricardo Viviani:

In that season there was an eastern Europe tour, East Germany, Dresden…


Anne Martin:

Yes, yes, yes. It was still East Germany. It was 1988, wasn’t it? Yes. Then we were in East Berlin, in Cottbus, in Dresden. Leipzig I’m not sure any more. In Cottbus there was a friend of Peter Kowald, an incredible person – Peter Metag. In the 70s and 80s Peter Metag and Ulli Blobel had fiddled with their radios a bit and managed to hear free jazz from West Germany. At that time Peter Metag was a locksmith. He and Ulli Blobel said, ‘We’re going to run a festival and invite people.’ You have to imagine, he couldn’t drink a drop of alcohol or he couldn’t drive. He couldn’t get hold of a telephone if he had the tiniest bit of alcohol in his blood. He just drank Fanta. (laughs) He always wrote down all the dates and sent them. He was totally reliable. You could really trust him. If he’d written something then it was true. So we met him there, and he was wearing a hat like this (gestures) and whatever the season just a shirt and a jacket. At that time I had started playing the accordion properly, with songs from southern Italy and France. He said, ‘I can invite you to do a tour.’ East Germany was pretty hectic. We were staying in Interhotels, everything grey and cold. If breakfast was at eight and you came a minute before eight, the doors would still be shut. If you got back from rehearsals at one minute past ten there was nothing left to eat, not so much as a slice of bread. In the mornings we filled lots of bread rolls to make sure we’d have something to eat. When you went in a restaurant, you couldn’t just go in and sit down. Even if the restaurant was empty, we had to wait till someone came and gave us a table. There was really a hierarchy, in the sense that the little man would put down the littler (gestures ‘repressing’), and the even littler, to demonstrate their power. It was grim.
On the same tour we went to Poland. In Poland it was different. The people had absolutely nothing. They were selling bras on the streets like in Peru, soap, matches. But they were so friendly, generous nonetheless. It was very sweet. We were in Prague briefly. It was a nice tour somehow. It was very nice in Prague. After that we went to Italy, didn’t we?

No. Was he [Jan Minařík] still with us? I don’t want to say something stupid. No, I didn’t hang out with him that much. I can’t say any more.


Chapter 5.7

Rite of Spring in Delphi and in Italy

01:08:56

Anne Martin, Ricardo Viviani:

And after that we were in Italy, right? Greece! Delphi.

Open air. At midday it was so hot we couldn’t rehearse. In the evening it was too cold. We did the worst performance of Sacre ever. The earth was freezing. Imagine: I come and lie down and I can’t feel my feet any more. Running around for 40 minutes doing Sacre and I can’t feel my feet. Beatrice and everyone slipped and fell. It was terrible. It was a full moon. It was very powerful but hard.
When we got back I was pregnant. I think it was a sign from the gods. I didn’t know till then, and we had a very nice tour in Italy. You’ll have to help me; there was Parma, Bologna, the place near Venice? [Cremona] it was late October, with that incredibly beautiful light in Italy, in those rosy cities. I danced Café Müller and 1980, and I’ve never danced as well in my life. I was pregnant but I didn’t know it.
Then we came back. Then I discovered I was pregnant. I decided not to do the next piece, Palermo Palermo, although Pina really wanted me to be part of it, even with my belly. I sensed – I didn’t know it intellectually – that something was different now. I was 36. I was happy to be pregnant. I had put 20 kilos back on since my hepatitis. I was really pleased.
No, I didn’t do Walzer either, because I was ill. Or Two Cigarettes, because I was in Paris. But I wasn’t part of that piece.

Bologna Cremona Paris Parma Beatrice Libonati 1980 – A Piece by Pina Bausch Café Müller Two Cigarettes in the Dark Palermo Palermo The Rite of Spring Walzer Performance of “Café Müller” by Pina Bausch at Teatro Amilcare Ponchielli Cremona (Italy), Oct. 28, 1988 Performance of “The Rite of Spring” by Pina Bausch in Delphi (Greece), Sept. 27, 1988

Chapter 6

Legacy

01:11:37


Chapter 6.1

Music, life changes

01:11:37

Ricardo Viviani:

Instead you concentrated more on music?


Anne Martin:

Yes, I started doing much more music. I sung at exhibitions, for readings by Raimund Hoghe. I sung in one of his pieces too. I loved that, and I thought, ‘Now I can just sit there and sing.’ I had the feeling I was at home again because before I started dancing I’d done loads of music.
Then, after Palermo, in 1989, I came back. I wasn’t part of that piece. During that six months I stopped dancing. I needed… (gestures ‘air’). I was breastfeeding my baby, singing; I sensed it wasn’t my thing any more. She talked about Iphigenia, but I knew I wouldn’t be dancing in Iphigenia or Orpheus.


Chapter 6.2

Two years without a premiere

01:13:05

Ricardo Viviani:

So there were two years when no new piece was made. Ok, there was a lot of work on the film. Suddenly these much earlier pieces came back – Iphigenia and Orpheus. Did you get any sense why that was needed?


Anne Martin:

I always wondered how Pina… For instance I had seen other choreographers like Martha Graham or Bejárt, who had taken up older pieces again at the end of their lives, or somehow went more ‘classical’ again. I always wondered, ‘What will happen to Pina? How will she react?’ She reacted by returning to older pieces, because at that time she hadn’t been at all well known. She considered whether to change some of the things in the second act of Iphigenia which might look a bit kitsch, but then she said, ‘No, I’ll just leave it all as it is.’ It was at that time that a critic in Paris said to Malou, ‘Finally Pina has made something beautiful (laughs) where everyone looks nice.’ She hadn’t actually looked in the programme and seen that the piece was from the 1970s.
I joined in for one rehearsal but it wasn’t my thing any more. Then I had David. And then she asked me to dance Nelken again. That was when the big catastrophe happened, (laughs) because I’d put on 20 kilos. In the rehearsal for the bit with the accordion she said, ‘Nah, this isn’t working, Anne.’ (laughs) I had such big breasts, such big legs. She said to me, ‘You’ve got such big legs.’ I said, ‘Well they’re my legs.’ For the first time I dared to say no. I think in retrospect I needed something decisive so I could leave. I still liked her work. I loved her. I had nothing against the work, but I felt my journey wasn’t with her any more. I couldn’t just leave and say, ‘Ok Pina, it’s over.’ I needed a fight. I didn’t think about it, but on the day we had words, Matthias Schmiegelt was there. I was shaking from head to toe, shaking so much. I just said, ‘No. I’m leaving.’ I wanted to break off my contract early, in December. Then she met up with me again, with Matthias Schmiegelt. She said, ‘Anne, we’ve been through so much together.’ (crying) Then she said, ‘Please just do the performances of Nelken till the end of the season. Then you can go.’ And I accepted that, but I didn’t do the part with the accordion any more. (laughs) We went to Russia, played it a few times here, and went to Paris too. My final performance was in Israel, in Caesarea in that wonderful amphitheatre by the sea, and there she said, (crying): ‘You know, if you ever want to come back there will always be a place for you.’ It was lovely because she really had faith in me. I didn’t have any faith in myself, but she had faith in me.
A lot of people came back and did older pieces. But I really needed a clean break. I thought, ‘I don’t want to dance any more. I don’t want to lift my legs up.’ I started dancing too late. All this leg lifting, spinning and leaping was always hard for me. It was never easy. I did it, I wanted to do it better, but it was never easy the way it was for people who had started dancing at the age of four.

Paris Israel Russia Malou Airaudo Pina Bausch Pina Bausch Iphigenie auf Tauris Nelken (Carnations) Performance of “Nelken (Carnations)” by Pina Bausch at Caesarea Amphitheatre (Israel), July 18, 1991

Chapter 6.3

Wuppertal?

01:18:27

Ricardo Viviani:

Of course you had family here too and Wuppertal was always focal point, right?


Anne Martin:

Yes. Four years later, in 1996, we moved to southern France. That worked better for Detlef, my ex-husband, than for me, because here I’d been singing in lots of little former churches. In Germany in every town there are little venues like the Forum which we used to have here, where you can do a little concert. But in France, in southern France, particularly in the Cévennes they’d rather have a football stadium or a DJ. It was difficult. Then we divorced and Detlef came back here. We still had contact because of the children.


Chapter 6.4

Keeping in touch

01:19:31

Ricardo Viviani:

We were talking about Iphigenia, about the end of a career, or career phase – Pina another 20 years of her career left, of course. Did you see the pieces after that?


Anne Martin:

She invited me once, with my two musicians, to sing at a festival. That was lovely. And of course I saw performances. I went to Paris occasionally too. I made a piece with Malou where I was singing with a tambourine, and I did a duo with Malou in Venice; Carolyn Carlson invited us. I sung with Raimund Hoghe in one of his pieces. I saw Bluebeard in Aix-en-Provence that time, because it wasn’t very far away. For a few years I didn’t see any dance. I didn’t want to. Then I gradually started seeing pieces again, but not everywhere. I haven’t seen all the new pieces. People were talking a lot about the work, but I didn’t want to listen. I wanted to keep hold of what I’d experienced with Pina, and I knew what that was.
Now every time I come here it’s like coming home, my family. I think in Germany everything is bigger than in France. You go in a bar and the bars are high, and in the restaurants the people are taller. Everything is somehow bigger. I still have my friends here. Even when I don’t see them for three years at a time they’re still my bosom chums.


Chapter 6.5

Teaching

01:21:38

Ricardo Viviani:

We were just talking about how as a teacher you are now processing Pina’s work internally and passing it on methodically. When did you return to dance?


Anne Martin:

Eight years later. Yes, then Jean-Marc Urrea called me – he was in Montpellier; he knew Jean-Francois Duroure and Mathilde Monnier well – and said, ‘So, there’s a new department for theatre at the conservatoire in Montpellier. Ariel Garcia Valdes is looking for people who can do things with the students. I thought of you.’ I said, ‘Great, ask him to call me,’ because we had a lot of money problems down there in France. Ariel Garcia Valdes was an actor with George Lavaudant. He said to me, ‘I’d like you to come for three weeks, work every day for as long as you want. You can do what you want with the students. At the end perhaps you can show something.’ I was terrified (laughs) to do anything again. But I did do something. I really noticed that I had a big bag, as it were, with everything I’d seen during all the years with Pina. I always watched what she tried out in the rehearsals. I was never knitting or reading. I always watched. I never found it boring. I think I learned a lot passively. I didn’t take notes, but I still learned a lot from it.
Then we created something. It was probably very Pina-Bausch-based, but good. (laughs) You have to start with what you know. There is no choreographer, not even Pina, who has something new fall into their hands from the sky. I did that for seven years. After we divorced I was in Marseille with the children. I created a solo. I wanted to see what happened when I used movement and voice.
So I made that solo and I was able to perform it in Marseille. Then Michel Keleminis asked me to dance in an opera. It was called Antinéa, by a Marseille composer, for five singers and a dancer. So while I was doing that I started training again. After that I did a French teaching diploma, because I didn’t have any work. I wanted to stay. I asked at all the conservatoires and schools if I could teach there.


Chapter 6.6

Falling into place

01:25:25

Anne Martin:

Like many times in my life there was a moment when everything came together. I met an old colleague from the school in Cannes and he was now director of the CSNMD in Lyon. He said to me, ‘Oh, you’re dancing again. I thought you’d given up dancing. You must come as a visiting professor.’ So I went there the year after. In the mean time I’d been teaching in America and had made a piece with the students there. Then I went to Lyon. It was December 2002. I saw a little sheet with the advert for a new professorship. I said, ‘Philippe, you didn’t tell me about this thing.’ I was really looking for a job. He said to me, ‘Well you said you were going back to America.’ ‘Yes, for six months, not for ever.’ ‘That would be great. So apply immediately.’ So I quickly applied. I did the application on the 27th January and on the 1st February I started. That was another leap into the unknown. But it was wonderful all the same. Hard at the beginning, but amazing. Then I could follow a class for a whole year, then workshops in improvisation. At the start I really tried not to do Pina-Bausch-movements. People said, ‘Don’t be daft. It’s where you’re coming from.’ I was a bit embarrassed I think. Gradually I introduced some Jean Cébron lessons, and I invited him too. Malou came and did a dance for the students. Kenji came too. The connections stayed and after that I wasn’t scared any more. And then I started to find my own way forward. That is wonderful.

Interview with Anne Martin, 20/2/2019 (2/2)

The dancers of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, like in many other German theatres were required to also perform in other productions as well, notably Opera and Musicals. Pina Bausch was able to eventually change these conditions, freeing her dancers to concentrate in the dance work. Anne Martin relates the process of creating pieces to both, the pulse of their time and her personal experiences. Gebirge, Viktor, Ahnen are commented in this interview. How her artistic interests developed after she left the company, immersed herself in music making, and eventually refound dance and teaching is described in the last part of this second day of interviews.

The interview was conducted in German and is available in English translation.

camera operatorSala Seddiki
transcriptionRicardo Viviani
intervieweeAnne Martin
interviewerRicardo Viviani

Permalink:
archives.pinabausch.org/id/20190220_83_0001


Table of contents

1

2

3

4

5

6


Chapter 1

Beginning in Wuppertal, Opera, Musicals

Chapter 1.1

Memories from the beginning

Ricardo Viviani:

Between yesterday and today, what went through your mind?

Anne Martin:

Strangely I was remembering the really early days here. Yesterday we mentioned how we toured to Solingen, Leverkusen and Remscheid, but in those years the new people who were there also danced in operas. We didn’t like it. The first year it was King Arthur by Purcell. We played the earth, with sacks; Hans Pop did the choreography and we had to do movements with fabric, linen and stuff: making the sea... (gestures wave movements) King Arthur was during the creation of Keuschheitslegende. Pina had already started working with Meryl, Jo and Jan on it. Lutz, Beatrice and I were cross we had to be in an opera. We went to Pina and said, ‘Pina, we’d like to be in the rehearsals too.’ (laughs) Thinking about it, on our own none of us would have dared to do that. But we hadn’t come there to be in operas. She understood our position. After that we were allowed to be in the rehearsals. She explained, however, that currently our contracts obliged us to be in the operas too. We were the ballet company for Wuppertal Opera House, even if it were called Tanztheater [‘dance theatre’]. Later, I’m not sure which year it was we did the first ever opera by Richard Wagner, which he wrote at the age of 19. It goes on four or five hours. It’s called The Fairies. All the women in the group had to do it, including Jo and Monika Sagon – Meryl wasn’t there any more. There was an island which moved to the front and we were the fairies on it. They wanted us to wear pre-Raphaelite wigs but we hated it so much we said, ‘No, we’re not wearing them.’ So every time we had a show we put tiny plaits in our hair so that in the evening it was all… (gestures big hair) We played cards because the opera was so long and we weren’t in all of it. But it was amusing, because we were all in it and there weren’t so many performances. Later she organised it so that we all had soloists’ contracts. At the beginning, every time we spoke or sung we would get a bit more money for those few lines. After a while that made no sense, because it was so complicated. Then she got the contracts changed so we didn’t have to do the operettas and operas and everything else was included.

Chapter 1.2

Dancers as choreographers

Ricardo Viviani:

At that time there was also a special programme ‘Dancers as choreographers’, in the foyer. Were you part of that?

Anne Martin:

No, not at that point. Later, much later, all of us did things with other people. When I lived in Luisenstraße I met Peter Kowald. He had no idea about dance. We started improvising together. There was a hall in the adult education college where we could work and we met there and did a few performances, sometimes with Joëlle Léandre, another bassist, who was French. That was wonderful, but he didn’t know the group at that point. Gradually he became part of the group, when Peter created this space ‘ORT’, after he’d been in Africa for a year; it was an exchange with artists from Germany, musicians, visual artists, who lived in a village in Africa for a year to see what they could create in that location. They met, made music, created this and that. When he came back he really wanted to set up a space where every Saturday everyone could come and make something. Of course lots of people from the company improvised there and did little solos. Peter Kowald knew musicians from all over the world. When people travelled through Germany they came there too. It lasted a year and then it went bankrupt, totally bankrupt. He said to me, ‘I can’t do it any more.’ For one year he decided he only wanted to do concerts where he could go with his legs. He rode a tricycle around with his bass on his back. He really did it – I’ve seen photos of it. On a horse once too. He really tried to do something local. It was a great idea of course. When it was gone everyone said, ‘Ah, we really miss it. We want to carry on.’ I don’t know what’s become of it today.

Chapter 1.3

Peter Kowald – Well recieved

Ricardo Viviani:

Did a lot of people come?

Anne Martin:

Yes, always. It was all for free. You could bring your own drinks. Later he organised the drinks. Of course the money soon ran out. It was always, always full. It was great.

Chapter 1.4

Spare time?

Ricardo Viviani:

Did you have the time for it?

Anne Martin:

From time to time, when we were in town. At the time I lived in Luisenstraße, then I went there a lot – when we were there, when we weren’t on tour.


Chapter 2

About New York and Gebirge: Zeitgeist

Chapter 2.1

Creation of On the Mountain ...

Ricardo Viviani:

Let’s talk about Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei gehört (On the Mountain a Cry was heard). What was the process like? How did it emerge? What was the creative phase like?

Anne Martin:

When I think about it, I think it was a difficult time for everyone – for me, at any rate, and certainly for Pina. She was trying to change from the path she’d taken so far, but wasn’t sure how. For me it was a very difficult time, after yet more heartache and hepatitis and all that. I was on a downhill slope. After that I went up again. That’s life.
I was very close to Pina, and we were still working together a lot despite all this. This was when I brought in the cassette with the wartime sounds. It became a very powerful piece, for me, a work about crying out for life – with that expanse of earth. It was a wonderful piece.
The working process still involved her asking the questions. I think there were always moments in that group when you want to do something else, suggest something else, but you are just yourself. (laughs) Pina often asked, if not the exact same questions, then ones in similar areas. For instance, ‘finding love’ was a question which kept recurring. Of course now I think you could do thousands of different things in response to that question. At some point you feel a bit restricted. That’s just the way it is. Still it is a very strong piece, I think.

Chapter 2.2

Music

Ricardo Viviani:

Were you closely involved with music again at this point?

Anne Martin:

I don’t know any more. I can’t remember which year that was even. 1983-84 season.

I think Jo was actually living with me, or was very close to me. It was the spring piece; there weren’t winter pieces any more. If it was ’84 then we went to Venice and New York.

Chapter 2.3

First US tour

Anne Martin, Ricardo Viviani:

The first North America tour: Los Angeles and New York. Maybe we should talk a little about that.

Anne Martin:

My experience of New York has always been as an energizing city. When you’re in that town there’s energy in the place. We did shows at BAM. Harvey Lichtenstein was great. He always said, ‘Terrific, it’s terrific!’ (laughs) We started getting to know people and our spare time was very lively. We went dancing all night. For me it was as if, because of the things which were so powerful in the pieces, and perhaps weren’t going so well in my private life, I tried to get lots of air circulating the rest of the time. In the end it’s all just circulating air.

New York BAM New York Performance of “Café Müller” by Pina Bausch at BAM New York (USA), June 12, 1984

Chapter 2.4

Pina and New York

Ricardo Viviani:

Did you get a sense of how Pina felt when she was in New York? She’d been in New York before; now she was there with her company. What did you do together?

Anne Martin:

I think it was that year that we went with Dominique to a studio, Trisha Brown’s I think. We visited Paul Taylor and Manuel Alum too. We discovered this whole life there, and all these people doing underground things, really with lots of energy. I don’t think you can live any other way in New York.

Chapter 2.5

Play globally, create locally

Ricardo Viviani:

Did you get the feeling that the creation was done in Wuppertal, using all these impressions, but the company was active throughout the world?

Anne Martin:

I wouldn’t have put it like that at the time. In those years, ’83, ’84, a lot of people from the group – Jean-François Duroure, Bénédicte Billiet – lived in the Luisenviertel district, not Héléna Pikon; she was in Barmen. We lived there and we were in the Café du Congo every night and there we met Peter Kowald and Peter Brötzmann. They made all this crazy music. A friend of mine who was Secretaire de Direction for years at the Maison de la Danse in Lyon, when she came to see us for the first time in Wuppertal, she said, ‘It feels like being in New York here.’ It was really effervescent – can I say that? There were lots of venues where people made crazy music. Peter Kowald always brought friends along. He had been in Mongolia and met Sainkho Namtchylak, the singer, who settled in Germany. He knew musicians from the GDR who invited him there. He knew some crazy Japanese musicians, a trumpeter and a drummer who just hit sheets of metal. Very, very crazy people. We were swimming in this kind whirlpool, as it were.

Chapter 2.6

Travel enriches

Anne Martin:

Of course we were in New York as a dance group. We didn’t have money problems; we felt very free there. The people I really got to know well there, a dancer, friend of Peter Kowald, and another woman who’d been there since the ‘70s… In the ‘70s Soho was an ugly district where people lived in lofts, taught and danced there. And we really admired these people’s courage. I think any travelling you do where you really get close to people, and don’t visit a country in a touristy, folkloric way but actually meet people, is bound to change you. Every country has definitely taught me something, something changes in my understanding of people, of the world. Even coming to Germany as a French-speaking Swiss person, having heard so many stories from the war years as a child, and then being here and meeting people like Ilse and Dorothea Hackenberg. Lots of people I met had suffered in the war. You couldn’t talk about the good French and the bad Germans any more. It became increasingly clear that the reality, a reality – there are many realities – is much subtler, that there are people everywhere who have to carry on living. Back to your question: I think every country taught us something.


Chapter 3

Legacy of Pina Bausch in the development of dance

Chapter 3.1

Pina Bausch and dance in France

Ricardo Viviani:

Yesterday I was asking about France and Pina’s influence on the dance scene there, about arts policy and Pina, how Pina influenced dance there. In that period, in the 1980s, you can see Pina’s interest in a language of gesture, already in Nelken, more strongly later in Viktor. How did this develop?

Anne Martin:

Already in Macbeth, in Renate: Pina talks very nicely about it in that 2006 film by Anne Linsel, how she was always looking for what was beautiful in each person, getting it to come out on stage, rather than always a learned gesture. Then she went much further in that direction. But as I said yesterday there were a lot of people in France – Daniel Larrieu and other people – who just took the gesture aspect, the superficial side, without asking what led someone to work with gestures. The whole of Kontakthof is made of them. It’s all just the tiny gestures: towards yourself, or someone else, or aggressive, or as if someone was there and you had the memory of their skin on your hand… When I joined the group it was very much along those lines. It’s hard for me to analyse because I lived it from the inside. What I can see is that she was continually broadening it.

Chapter 3.2

Dance as communication

Ricardo Viviani:

One thing which is very interesting about Pina’s various statements is the means of communication; what do we communicate with movement, in dance, between people altogether.

Anne Martin:

Nazareth says in Nelken, of course: ‘I started dancing because I found it easier than talking.’ I think we were all a small part of Pina; she identified a part of herself in each of us. That is really lovely. I think every choreographer has that. Gradually she stopped asking the six-times questions – six responses to ‘Shit, I got that wrong,’ or six times ‘Do I smell nice?’ Then she broadened it out a bit. One question was a total block for me because I couldn’t find anything for it: ‘Letting something positive grow.’ That was it. Now it sounds very simple, but I got a block with that sentence. She expanded the questions more and more. And asked people… For instance, Meryl’s solo in 1980 was full of tiny fragments of various questions, Jo in Walzer too; they are tiny fragments she put together.


Chapter 4

Creation of Viktor

Anne Martin, Ricardo Viviani:

On Viktor we worked differently. What was the piece before Viktor? (laughs) Gebirge maybe?

Chapter 4.1

Trapeze: fail and fall

Anne Martin:

After Gebirge I got very down. One day I was in Paris with some friends and I saw there was a trapeze course. I thought, ‘I have to do that.’ I took unpaid leave from the company. She wanted to do Two Cigarrettes with fewer people anyway. I lived in Paris for a couple of months and learned trapeze. I loved it. You really had to just do it or you fell down. It wasn’t complicated. You had to do the right movements otherwise you fell. It was really great, great to work with that momentum too. Before that I’d started working on my voice. I’d always had a very natural voice; I found it easy to sing. Ever since I was a child I’ve loved to sing. Meryl had been having singing lessons with a soprano in Briller Viertel, and I went to her too. She always said, ‘You have to laugh from above: Ah ha, ha, ha, haha.’ She was funny and very sweet. Her husband was much older than her; he was a conductor. But I felt more restricted by it than anything and at some point I started voice training with Dorothea Hackenberg. She and her husband had been very, very close to Rolf and Pina earlier. They really helped them a lot, with legal matters too, and sat with them for hours in the restaurant. She gave piano and singing lessons. So I started singing with her too. It was really amazing because she really sung from her bones, vibrating throughout her body. Suddenly there was something starting to open up again.

Chapter 4.2

Momentum and grandmother's rolls

Anne Martin:

So when we started on Viktor, I’d just come back from Paris. I had the whole momentum thing from the trapeze work. I said to Pina, ‘I’ve been doing all that in Paris. Do you want to see? Maybe we could use it in the piece.’ That became the circus ring passages, very beautiful. The bread roll thing was a memory of my grandmother, who always prepared us a little gouter [snack]: bread with jam and butter. In Viktor I appear first, then all the other women at the table with lots of rolls and butter, or margarine, and jam. Then we gave them to the audience.

Chapter 4.3

Contribution of ideas

Ricardo Viviani:

That was another idea you suggested?

Anne Martin:

There were lots more too. We worked very closely with Pina, including the dance movements, Héléna too in her own way. It was a very creative time, a very nice, powerful time. I played my little accordion then too, a French song by Fréhel first: (sings) ‘ou sont tous mes amants’ – ‘where are all my lovers?’ (laughs) Then she brought in an Italian song. Or was it the other way round? No I think the French one first. That was something she changed! We also had that line (gestures with her hands) which we created with Jean-François. The thing with the planks, with the long arms; she had asked for, ‘extra long arms.’ So I picked up two planks.
Yes, or, ‘Some words someone once said to you which totally floored you.’ For that I used a memory of mine where I had been out in the snow with my former lover one evening after a party and he was blind drunk. I wanted to help him and he said, ‘Get lost! Leave me alone! What do you want from me?’ Everything I said in the piece then. And she asked me to say it to Rolando and then to the audience.

Ricardo Viviani:

You do it very forcefully.

Chapter 4.4

Woman in the red dress

Anne Martin:

And then we were in Rome, two or three weeks. I always loved Italy. I have very good friends there. When I had hepatitis and was in hospital for seven weeks, I just dreamt of a little street, a table with a white cloth on it, spaghetti and red wine, in Italy. It was very nice in Rome. I felt free to suggest whatever came into my head.
Yes it took me a long time, till Viktor I think, to answer a question. ‘A broken victory,’ was the question. I did a few things again and again and again. At some point, after several responses, I had the idea of putting on this red dress with my arms behind my back, and that became the beginning of the piece. I learned something there. Till then I was always a bit insecure: ‘That’s silly. Don’t do that.’ I always judged myself instead of just doing what came into my head, into my heart. I needed a long time for that.
Jan Minařík was a genius in that sense, but of course he’d known Pina since the beginning. He always did what came to him. After that it was much easier of course. Instead of thinking, ‘No, I can’t do that. That’s silly,’ just do it! Then it’s gone and you can move on, you see?

Chapter 4.5

Safe environment

Ricardo Viviani:

Yes. How did Pina manage to create that space, to build that trust?

Anne Martin:

It’s something you just sense. It’s not something you can describe. I think in retrospect she sometimes guessed when someone – me, or in another piece someone else – was ready to come out with something, which perhaps she had seen all along, but which you might not necessarily have seen yourself. Then you just sensed between her and us, or her and me, that the way was clear. She managed to see what was special in us anyway, what was particular, and also see when we were ready to take it further.
I once tried a movement, something made up – for me it was made up. She said to me, ‘What are you doing there?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. I just made it up.’ Later I saw it was in Orpheus or IphigeniaOrpheus it was – but I’d never seen that piece at the time. Voilà!
For me it took a long time.

Chapter 4.6

Woman in the red dress 2

Ricardo Viviani:

That opening scene, the woman with the red dress, for a performer it’s a very brave start to the piece. You go to centre stage and smile. How was that for you? Did you have to overcome nerves?

Anne Martin, Ricardo Viviani:

No, no. After a few years the good thing about this work, and I try to teach it to others, is that when you’ve found something in yourself and experienced it, it’s there and you can find it again. And I only had to… (smiles); I stand there and smile. It wasn’t acting; it was something that was in me probably, this beaming but with no arms. It can provoke so many different reactions. Some people in France talked about those children who didn’t have arms, after that medication. (Thalidomide)
Lots of reactions, but for me it was just ‘a broken victory’. The question was very beautiful too.

Chapter 4.7

How to transmit this?

Ricardo Viviani:

What’s it like passing on an idea like that, a scene like that? How do you teach it to another person? Do you have any experience of that?

Anne Martin:

Only for 1980, because I was still here in Wuppertal. She asked us. I think I made notes for 1980 and Arien: everything I do in the piece. And for a few days I taught it to Julie Shanahan, but not Viktor. I think they learned it from a video. They never asked me.

Chapter 4.8

Coaching

Ricardo Viviani:

What would you say to a person who had to play that role?

Anne Martin:

Once I worked with Breanna on the dance from 1980. It should have been Héléna but she’d broken her arm. Héléna is great. She said, ‘I’d love to work just with you.’ I still have all the details, which were so important in Pina’s pieces, in my flesh, in my heart (shows movements). For instance… (dances). They didn’t have that. They just go… (dances). That’s not it. It was… (dances) and afterwards it falls into something else. Sadly a little bit gets lost afterwards. As I said, I actually once relearned a dance from Viktor – the bride’s dance with the white sheet. She gave me permission, for the fiftieth anniversary of the school in Cannes. I knew a few of the movements, but not all of it. I couldn’t remember all the little details. But when I watched the video gradually it all came back, not consciously, not in my intellectual consciousness, but it came. You couldn’t see the little movements properly on the video.

Chapter 4.9

Body memory

Ricardo Viviani:

Is it a surprise for yourself to discover, ‘Oh I can still do it.’

Anne Martin:

Yes it is rather nice. It’s a great feeling. I danced it on the stage and thought, ‘Man, you know I’m twenty years older. Perhaps this won’t actually work.’ (laughs) It really was a bride’s dance; originally I was young and fresh but by then I wasn’t young and fresh any more. But I did it, and loved doing it again. I was right back in the piece again.
Once I saw the group in Lyon. I was in the wings. They did that line. (dances the Nelken line) I could easily have gone out to them and joined in, no problem. That’s how strong it is. It has totally impregnated me, as it were.

Chapter 4.10

Gender awareness

Ricardo Viviani:

The bride’s dance – that brings me to another subject which is often discussed: gender. Two men, right and left, and the woman dances and is very exposed. These men are smoking, busy with something, then suddenly the old woman comes along, wants to give her cigarettes but she has her own. As a woman, with gender awareness, today and then of course: the role of women presented there, how…

Anne Martin:

I’ve never thought about it. There’s no point. For instance, in one of the rehearsals the men came in with the sheet. I’d forgotten part of my costume so I ran out again. She said, ‘That’s good. Keep that in.’ That stayed in the piece, the bit where she comes in then runs out again to fetch a piece of clothing. For me it was, if not a punishing journey, a journey you had to do. I’ve never seen the piece, but I think when you see that white sheet and the two men, it relates to traditions, in Italy, and everywhere really, where you’re supposed to show that white sheet after a wedding. But at that time I didn’t give it any thought at all. It was a time, I think, when I didn’t want to be suppressed any more. That’s why I had my own cigarettes. That woman’s dance for me was like going into a field to do farm work. As we started I always said, ‘Yes! Women, let’s go to the field!’ (dances and sings) I could still dance that.

Chapter 4.11

Yes, no

Ricardo Viviani:

There’s one scene from Viktor we still haven’t discussed: the sequence with ‘Non.’ Such a charming scene. How was it created?

Anne Martin:

Ah, oui! ‘Non, non, non, non.’ (dances and sings) Like so often, there were small gestures and large gestures. This (gestures) must have been from Pina, some of the others were probably from me. I can’t remember. She asked me to do something with it, because for one of the questions, ‘When someone comes to me and I always say “no”’, that was what I did.

Chapter 4.12

Collecting and using music

Ricardo Viviani:

Did the music come later? Did the dance come first?

Anne Martin:

Perhaps you can help me. Had we been to Palermo already? Through a Sicilian friend in Italy I managed to get some really traditional music, and Matthias Burkert was always looking too. We had this one Sicilian traditional song. (sings) She always had a little case full of cassettes, and she had tracks with her which she sometimes tried for years, and at some point that piece of music would find its place. There was one in Viktor too: that wonderful dance Héléna does on the ground. It’s a South American piece she’d already tried a few years ago in various pieces, but in this piece it was right.
That was the first time we’d worked in another city.

Chapter 4.13

Co-production

Ricardo Viviani:

Eine der genannten Koproduktionen mit Teatro Argentina in Rom.

Anne Martin:

And I always felt happy travelling.

Chapter 4.14

Activities in Rome

Ricardo Viviani:

Two weeks in Rome and the various things you got up to there. Could you perhaps describe a few of the places you visited there?

Anne Martin:

I’ve just remembered that through someone or another Pina found a place where elderly people danced. We found that in several countries, including South America. We were there one evening and the old men came and invited us to dance. And I think that’s in the piece too, a bit where we dance with old men. Things like that were very beautiful. We were in the middle of the city and she suddenly asked a question – I’m not sure if I said that already. I was looking for a plucked chicken, and doing something with headphones and doing this (dances) with my chicken, hanging there. (laughs) It was a bit – how can I put it? – macabre, or trashy.

Anne Martin:

It was the first time we’d done it in another city. After the rehearsals of course we went out and watched things, saw things on the street. Every day she said, ‘I’ll be asking you each day what you’ve seen in the city?’ There were a few things, for instance when Urs and Melanie kiss and Urs is constantly looking to see if the traffic lights are on green for pedestrians. Or those three women waiting tables; they saw that in the city. Elena Majnoni was there. She wasn’t in the group any more; she left after Gebirge. Her friend was – and I guess still is – a real Roman who loved his city, and he knew (gestures) so many strange places which he took us to: churches with crypts under them where the monks had decorated everything with bones, with skulls, very beautifully done, but it was a bit macabre. All things you could visit. Or the catacombs: there’s a little train; you sit there and go down, down, down. I felt sick down there. I nearly fainted. Lots of strange things in Rome which weren’t the glamourous things they showed the tourists, rather perhaps the dark side of Rome. That was great. That was my experience of course; we didn’t always go out together in one big group.

Ricardo Viviani:

The underworld of prostitutes, transvestites? Did they come into it?

Anne Martin:

Probably. I wasn’t there myself. Jean Sasportes may have experienced that. I don’t know exactly. Perhaps at that venue where we were dancing. We weren’t together everywhere.

Chapter 4.15

Piece coming together in the Lichtburg

Anne Martin:

It wasn’t as focussed as in the Lichtburg, but we were full of the experiences there. It was the first time we’d worked on part of a piece in another city. Then we came back to Wuppertal. At some point Pina said that most of the piece was generated in Wuppertal. I don’t know if that’s true, but she certainly thought we were more focussed here. Then we were back in Rome to perform the piece, Viktor, and Fellini was there in the auditorium with his wife! After the show they came onstage with flowers and presented them to us. It was so emotional, because Fellini is a massive, massive filmmaker. I’m not sure if Pina had already worked with him. Not yet? Then he probably asked her after that. He liked Melanie a lot too, who was very (gestures) opulent in that role.
Voilà. That’s all I can remember about Rome.
Of course when we came home and carried on working we were still infused with all those impressions, all those colours. I think each of us found something of ourselves in relationship to it. Dominique’s role is amazing too, but it didn’t come precisely from Rome. When he plays the old woman it’s more southern Italy. That’s why I was wondering if we had already been to Palermo. We met a young man, Ferruccio Nobile Migliore, and I started singing and playing my accordion. He is Sicilian but he lives in Rome and he found some old songs for me. Matthias Burkert was also looking for recordings of really traditional songs. I think that music when Jacob and Dominique are dancing is probably, if I’m not mistaken – check that, as I’m not sure – a song from Sardinia and that song ‘Veni la primavera…’ (sings), the women’s working dance, is definitely Sicilian.

Chapter 4.16

Chaos

Ricardo Viviani:

Those crazy scenes have titles. Could we talk about those titles briefly? Chaos?

Anne Martin:

The Chaos Scene. Yes, she said to us, ‘Using movements you’ve already created, you’re there and you want to cross the stage but you can’t touch the ground, because something on the stage may be poisonous, certainly dangerous.’ That’s why we all did something – I think I had a table, I don’t remember, and a plank – to try and get to the other side in an emergency, without touching the ground. That was the title of that scene.

Ricardo Viviani:

Perhaps it’s very far-fetched, but at that time, 1986, the Chernobyl disaster had happened in Russia and everyone here in Europe was very scared about radioactivity. As an artist you aren’t isolated from the world, of course.

Anne Martin:

Sure. I have to say Pina always had an incredible intuition and instinct for what was going on. Had Chernobyl already happened? Also, lots of people saw connections with my lack of arms (gestures) which didn’t come from the questions at all. At one point someone eats a salad; after Chernobyl you weren’t allowed to eat salads any more. Yes, of course it’s related. She listened to the news. She read the papers. People talked to her. We talked about the things which happened. She was certainly affected by world events. But, as I said before about Gebirge, she always sought an indirect route: ‘Ok, Chernobyl has happened. We can’t touch the ground any more!’ Then we’d have done something deliberately relating to Chernobyl. But when she asked the question (gestures ‘who knows?’) I didn’t even think about Chernobyl. She simply said, ‘You can’t touch the ground.’ I don’t even think she said anything about danger. ‘Without touching the ground,’ just that. In an emergency, so as quickly as possible.
Yes, it was that way of leaving the questions as open as possible so we had the chance to respond with something, make something. And thanks to that she generally found a way to express that feeling she had in her stomach, which still didn’t have a form, and through that we could respond to it. Yes, that’s true about Chernobyl.

Chapter 4.17

Jan shovelling

Anne Martin:

Of course that incredible stage set too, Jan continually shovelling. Obviously it’s about digging too. But endings and death are always very present in Pina’s world. Not always like this (gestures ‘suffering’), but death is part of life.


Chapter 5

About Ahnen and Touring

Chapter 5.1

Ahnen: A transition piece

Ricardo Viviani:

Ahnen.

Anne Martin:

Ahnen. That was another passage, an ordeal, perhaps because I was pregnant soon afterwards. I think perhaps for Pina too. That piece was very mysterious. She asked for lots of memories from our countries, the countries we all came from. I did that thing with bells and a mask. Of course for me Switzerland is several countries. I’m from French Switzerland, where there aren’t many traditions left, but in German Switzerland, in the smaller cantons such as Appenzell, there are still some beautiful traditions, where the shepherds wear masks at New Year to banish the evil spirits, and dance with bells. But the bells, I have to say, came from Sardinia. I bought them in Sardinia.

Chapter 5.2

Mask -–Sisyphus work

Ricardo Viviani:

Wasn’t the mask you had from the Andes?

Anne Martin:

The mask was from Peru, from our South America tour. At some point during the rehearsals for Ahnen it went down to –20° and I was so cold I came in one day wearing a woolly balaclava with only the eyes and mouth showing. Pina thought it was so great she tried it on immediately. Then it stayed in the piece. Then she wanted me to have a mask with my smile on it. I observed it all, but didn’t even try to catch the thread because there were so many things and those cacti do actually spike you, and the lights were also very mysterious. That waiting moment, where I roll up wool from a bucket of water, then put it back in the water again. The question was ‘something about time,’ something relating to time. I had a bucket of water and I just rolled the wool up. (gestures). I was looking to see if the birds were coming, but there weren’t any birds. (gestures rolling wool again) When I’d finished I held one end of the wool and let the other drop back into the water, then started rolling it up again. Or there was Julie Stanzak with her painted hearts (gestures ‘in her face’), with that candle. And for the first time she didn’t show us any movements. She asked us to do movements with our names. She asked us, ‘Can you do a phrase with your names? You can do it like this (gestures writing with a finger in the air) or you can make huge great movements with your names of course.’ Your birthday. What else, I can’t remember. Then she wanted everyone to learn my phrase. We rehearsed, rehearsed, rehearsed. Then she changed the music. It was constantly changing. I went to her at one point and said, ‘Pina I don’t feel I have any new ideas.’ She didn’t say no. (laughs). She was delighted that I’d been honest. I was very unhappy. But we still danced. On the stage we all did that phrase to some very nice music. Then the music changed again, as fast as possible. Then there was something with – what’s it called when someone sleeps while they’re walking? – sleepwalking. Then I walked down the balcony with the mask on. Well, and she kept the dance with the bells for the opening dance. I never saw the piece but I knew that Antonio was dancing a South-Italian dance with knives at the back. I found the juxtaposition very nice. Everything was strange, in different ways, but I think in the end it was a very beautiful piece. (laughs)
She may have had more of those traditional things in it. That walk we do, where the women do this (gestures) – I forget what the men do. That’s Native American language. That is ‘woman’ (gestures) but I forget what ‘man’ is – that line. Kyomi did a dance on tin cans. It might not have seemed so aesthetically pleasing, but in the end it was aesthetic, incredibly beautiful. She had an enormous wind machine. Things were flying across the stage. It relates to the world today, I now realise. I didn’t think about that at the time, but now I do. Towards the end she had the idea Jan could carry a bag full of water and I’d be in the bag. I said, ‘Sure, we can try it.’ It didn’t work. Then she got a glass coffin made, full of water, and I lay in it. Then it came to the front and I played the piano. All very strange. Someone in Paris said to me, ‘Anne, now you have to get out of the water and dance. You’re not yourself any more.’
But it was still wonderful to do that. You can’t always be full throttle. (gestures ‘power’) She used me as what I was at that time. And I think it’s beautiful, ingenious.

Chapter 5.3

Japanese tour

Anne Martin:

We were in Japan. I think she pushed Kyomi to the forefront at bit. We have a dance on chairs, all the women (gestures) which is a little Japanese. The first time was wonderful. We were in Tokyo. We danced at the biggest theatre in Japan. The audience didn’t applaud; that’s a sign of great respect in Japan. It may have changed a bit today. At first we didn’t understand it; it was rather strange. I didn’t really like it in Japan. I found it a very tough country. For instance, you weren’t allowed to open the windows in the hotel. They have more of a sense of hierarchy than in Germany. No really means no. Now I think I would like to go back to Japan, but to go to the countryside. Although lots of things were really great, and the performances were wonderful. We did Sacre and, I think, Kontakthof.

Chapter 5.4

Café Müller in Italy

Ricardo Viviani:

Did you do Café Müller in Italy again?

Anne Martin:

Just Café Müller? Was that afterwards – 1988?

Chapter 5.5

Season 1988/89: Filming The Complaint of an Empress

Ricardo Viviani:

Yes. Ok, then let’s go to the next season. In that season there was no new production.

Anne Martin:

Did we shoot the film?

Ricardo Viviani:

Yes, the film was shot.

Anne Martin:

Right. And my former husband [Detlef Erler] was the assistant cameraman. She didn’t give us any movements either. She said, ‘Some kind of object you really like – describe it.’ And I chose a bicycle, any kind of object. It became a dance. I enjoyed that a lot.
We spent a lot of time waiting, waiting for a phone call. She might say, ‘It’s your turn tomorrow, or yours.’ Then you’d wait all day because, as is always the way with film, everything is delayed. We were a bit lost, each in our corner. I found the film very beautiful in the end. She had filmed God knows how many hours and managed to get it down to one and a half – more than 200 I think. I’m not sure, perhaps more.

Chapter 5.6

Tour of Eastern Europe

Ricardo Viviani:

In that season there was an eastern Europe tour, East Germany, Dresden…

Anne Martin:

Yes, yes, yes. It was still East Germany. It was 1988, wasn’t it? Yes. Then we were in East Berlin, in Cottbus, in Dresden. Leipzig I’m not sure any more. In Cottbus there was a friend of Peter Kowald, an incredible person – Peter Metag. In the 70s and 80s Peter Metag and Ulli Blobel had fiddled with their radios a bit and managed to hear free jazz from West Germany. At that time Peter Metag was a locksmith. He and Ulli Blobel said, ‘We’re going to run a festival and invite people.’ You have to imagine, he couldn’t drink a drop of alcohol or he couldn’t drive. He couldn’t get hold of a telephone if he had the tiniest bit of alcohol in his blood. He just drank Fanta. (laughs) He always wrote down all the dates and sent them. He was totally reliable. You could really trust him. If he’d written something then it was true. So we met him there, and he was wearing a hat like this (gestures) and whatever the season just a shirt and a jacket. At that time I had started playing the accordion properly, with songs from southern Italy and France. He said, ‘I can invite you to do a tour.’ East Germany was pretty hectic. We were staying in Interhotels, everything grey and cold. If breakfast was at eight and you came a minute before eight, the doors would still be shut. If you got back from rehearsals at one minute past ten there was nothing left to eat, not so much as a slice of bread. In the mornings we filled lots of bread rolls to make sure we’d have something to eat. When you went in a restaurant, you couldn’t just go in and sit down. Even if the restaurant was empty, we had to wait till someone came and gave us a table. There was really a hierarchy, in the sense that the little man would put down the littler (gestures ‘repressing’), and the even littler, to demonstrate their power. It was grim.
On the same tour we went to Poland. In Poland it was different. The people had absolutely nothing. They were selling bras on the streets like in Peru, soap, matches. But they were so friendly, generous nonetheless. It was very sweet. We were in Prague briefly. It was a nice tour somehow. It was very nice in Prague. After that we went to Italy, didn’t we?

No. Was he [Jan Minařík] still with us? I don’t want to say something stupid. No, I didn’t hang out with him that much. I can’t say any more.

Chapter 5.7

Rite of Spring in Delphi and in Italy

Anne Martin, Ricardo Viviani:

And after that we were in Italy, right? Greece! Delphi.

Open air. At midday it was so hot we couldn’t rehearse. In the evening it was too cold. We did the worst performance of Sacre ever. The earth was freezing. Imagine: I come and lie down and I can’t feel my feet any more. Running around for 40 minutes doing Sacre and I can’t feel my feet. Beatrice and everyone slipped and fell. It was terrible. It was a full moon. It was very powerful but hard.
When we got back I was pregnant. I think it was a sign from the gods. I didn’t know till then, and we had a very nice tour in Italy. You’ll have to help me; there was Parma, Bologna, the place near Venice? [Cremona] it was late October, with that incredibly beautiful light in Italy, in those rosy cities. I danced Café Müller and 1980, and I’ve never danced as well in my life. I was pregnant but I didn’t know it.
Then we came back. Then I discovered I was pregnant. I decided not to do the next piece, Palermo Palermo, although Pina really wanted me to be part of it, even with my belly. I sensed – I didn’t know it intellectually – that something was different now. I was 36. I was happy to be pregnant. I had put 20 kilos back on since my hepatitis. I was really pleased.
No, I didn’t do Walzer either, because I was ill. Or Two Cigarettes, because I was in Paris. But I wasn’t part of that piece.

Bologna Cremona Paris Parma Beatrice Libonati 1980 – A Piece by Pina Bausch Café Müller Two Cigarettes in the Dark Palermo Palermo The Rite of Spring Walzer Performance of “Café Müller” by Pina Bausch at Teatro Amilcare Ponchielli Cremona (Italy), Oct. 28, 1988 Performance of “The Rite of Spring” by Pina Bausch in Delphi (Greece), Sept. 27, 1988

Chapter 6

Legacy

Chapter 6.1

Music, life changes

Ricardo Viviani:

Instead you concentrated more on music?

Anne Martin:

Yes, I started doing much more music. I sung at exhibitions, for readings by Raimund Hoghe. I sung in one of his pieces too. I loved that, and I thought, ‘Now I can just sit there and sing.’ I had the feeling I was at home again because before I started dancing I’d done loads of music.
Then, after Palermo, in 1989, I came back. I wasn’t part of that piece. During that six months I stopped dancing. I needed… (gestures ‘air’). I was breastfeeding my baby, singing; I sensed it wasn’t my thing any more. She talked about Iphigenia, but I knew I wouldn’t be dancing in Iphigenia or Orpheus.

Chapter 6.2

Two years without a premiere

Ricardo Viviani:

So there were two years when no new piece was made. Ok, there was a lot of work on the film. Suddenly these much earlier pieces came back – Iphigenia and Orpheus. Did you get any sense why that was needed?

Anne Martin:

I always wondered how Pina… For instance I had seen other choreographers like Martha Graham or Bejárt, who had taken up older pieces again at the end of their lives, or somehow went more ‘classical’ again. I always wondered, ‘What will happen to Pina? How will she react?’ She reacted by returning to older pieces, because at that time she hadn’t been at all well known. She considered whether to change some of the things in the second act of Iphigenia which might look a bit kitsch, but then she said, ‘No, I’ll just leave it all as it is.’ It was at that time that a critic in Paris said to Malou, ‘Finally Pina has made something beautiful (laughs) where everyone looks nice.’ She hadn’t actually looked in the programme and seen that the piece was from the 1970s.
I joined in for one rehearsal but it wasn’t my thing any more. Then I had David. And then she asked me to dance Nelken again. That was when the big catastrophe happened, (laughs) because I’d put on 20 kilos. In the rehearsal for the bit with the accordion she said, ‘Nah, this isn’t working, Anne.’ (laughs) I had such big breasts, such big legs. She said to me, ‘You’ve got such big legs.’ I said, ‘Well they’re my legs.’ For the first time I dared to say no. I think in retrospect I needed something decisive so I could leave. I still liked her work. I loved her. I had nothing against the work, but I felt my journey wasn’t with her any more. I couldn’t just leave and say, ‘Ok Pina, it’s over.’ I needed a fight. I didn’t think about it, but on the day we had words, Matthias Schmiegelt was there. I was shaking from head to toe, shaking so much. I just said, ‘No. I’m leaving.’ I wanted to break off my contract early, in December. Then she met up with me again, with Matthias Schmiegelt. She said, ‘Anne, we’ve been through so much together.’ (crying) Then she said, ‘Please just do the performances of Nelken till the end of the season. Then you can go.’ And I accepted that, but I didn’t do the part with the accordion any more. (laughs) We went to Russia, played it a few times here, and went to Paris too. My final performance was in Israel, in Caesarea in that wonderful amphitheatre by the sea, and there she said, (crying): ‘You know, if you ever want to come back there will always be a place for you.’ It was lovely because she really had faith in me. I didn’t have any faith in myself, but she had faith in me.
A lot of people came back and did older pieces. But I really needed a clean break. I thought, ‘I don’t want to dance any more. I don’t want to lift my legs up.’ I started dancing too late. All this leg lifting, spinning and leaping was always hard for me. It was never easy. I did it, I wanted to do it better, but it was never easy the way it was for people who had started dancing at the age of four.

Paris Israel Russia Malou Airaudo Pina Bausch Pina Bausch Iphigenie auf Tauris Nelken (Carnations) Performance of “Nelken (Carnations)” by Pina Bausch at Caesarea Amphitheatre (Israel), July 18, 1991

Chapter 6.3

Wuppertal?

Ricardo Viviani:

Of course you had family here too and Wuppertal was always focal point, right?

Anne Martin:

Yes. Four years later, in 1996, we moved to southern France. That worked better for Detlef, my ex-husband, than for me, because here I’d been singing in lots of little former churches. In Germany in every town there are little venues like the Forum which we used to have here, where you can do a little concert. But in France, in southern France, particularly in the Cévennes they’d rather have a football stadium or a DJ. It was difficult. Then we divorced and Detlef came back here. We still had contact because of the children.

Chapter 6.4

Keeping in touch

Ricardo Viviani:

We were talking about Iphigenia, about the end of a career, or career phase – Pina another 20 years of her career left, of course. Did you see the pieces after that?

Anne Martin:

She invited me once, with my two musicians, to sing at a festival. That was lovely. And of course I saw performances. I went to Paris occasionally too. I made a piece with Malou where I was singing with a tambourine, and I did a duo with Malou in Venice; Carolyn Carlson invited us. I sung with Raimund Hoghe in one of his pieces. I saw Bluebeard in Aix-en-Provence that time, because it wasn’t very far away. For a few years I didn’t see any dance. I didn’t want to. Then I gradually started seeing pieces again, but not everywhere. I haven’t seen all the new pieces. People were talking a lot about the work, but I didn’t want to listen. I wanted to keep hold of what I’d experienced with Pina, and I knew what that was.
Now every time I come here it’s like coming home, my family. I think in Germany everything is bigger than in France. You go in a bar and the bars are high, and in the restaurants the people are taller. Everything is somehow bigger. I still have my friends here. Even when I don’t see them for three years at a time they’re still my bosom chums.

Chapter 6.5

Teaching

Ricardo Viviani:

We were just talking about how as a teacher you are now processing Pina’s work internally and passing it on methodically. When did you return to dance?

Anne Martin:

Eight years later. Yes, then Jean-Marc Urrea called me – he was in Montpellier; he knew Jean-Francois Duroure and Mathilde Monnier well – and said, ‘So, there’s a new department for theatre at the conservatoire in Montpellier. Ariel Garcia Valdes is looking for people who can do things with the students. I thought of you.’ I said, ‘Great, ask him to call me,’ because we had a lot of money problems down there in France. Ariel Garcia Valdes was an actor with George Lavaudant. He said to me, ‘I’d like you to come for three weeks, work every day for as long as you want. You can do what you want with the students. At the end perhaps you can show something.’ I was terrified (laughs) to do anything again. But I did do something. I really noticed that I had a big bag, as it were, with everything I’d seen during all the years with Pina. I always watched what she tried out in the rehearsals. I was never knitting or reading. I always watched. I never found it boring. I think I learned a lot passively. I didn’t take notes, but I still learned a lot from it.
Then we created something. It was probably very Pina-Bausch-based, but good. (laughs) You have to start with what you know. There is no choreographer, not even Pina, who has something new fall into their hands from the sky. I did that for seven years. After we divorced I was in Marseille with the children. I created a solo. I wanted to see what happened when I used movement and voice.
So I made that solo and I was able to perform it in Marseille. Then Michel Keleminis asked me to dance in an opera. It was called Antinéa, by a Marseille composer, for five singers and a dancer. So while I was doing that I started training again. After that I did a French teaching diploma, because I didn’t have any work. I wanted to stay. I asked at all the conservatoires and schools if I could teach there.

Chapter 6.6

Falling into place

Anne Martin:

Like many times in my life there was a moment when everything came together. I met an old colleague from the school in Cannes and he was now director of the CSNMD in Lyon. He said to me, ‘Oh, you’re dancing again. I thought you’d given up dancing. You must come as a visiting professor.’ So I went there the year after. In the mean time I’d been teaching in America and had made a piece with the students there. Then I went to Lyon. It was December 2002. I saw a little sheet with the advert for a new professorship. I said, ‘Philippe, you didn’t tell me about this thing.’ I was really looking for a job. He said to me, ‘Well you said you were going back to America.’ ‘Yes, for six months, not for ever.’ ‘That would be great. So apply immediately.’ So I quickly applied. I did the application on the 27th January and on the 1st February I started. That was another leap into the unknown. But it was wonderful all the same. Hard at the beginning, but amazing. Then I could follow a class for a whole year, then workshops in improvisation. At the start I really tried not to do Pina-Bausch-movements. People said, ‘Don’t be daft. It’s where you’re coming from.’ I was a bit embarrassed I think. Gradually I introduced some Jean Cébron lessons, and I invited him too. Malou came and did a dance for the students. Kenji came too. The connections stayed and after that I wasn’t scared any more. And then I started to find my own way forward. That is wonderful.



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