The Foundation used the rehearsals for the restaging of the piece “Two Cigarettes in the Dark” as a second pilot project for looking at different ways to archive a piece of Pina Bausch. As with other pieces, the set design and costumes were documented in detail and the video stock and show bibles were analysed, evaluated, and digitized. The process of remembering and passing on experience during the rehearsals was also documented on film. Finally, at the end of the performance run, the oral history project “7x7x7”, conceived by Marc Wagenbach, was conducted to stimulate the personal memories of the “contemporary witnesses”, the people involved in the earlier productions.
Seven audience members interviewed seven members of Tanztheater Wuppertal with each interview lasting seven minutes. The interviewees from the Tanztheater – BeÅLneÅLdicte Billet, Matthias Burkert, Marion Cito, Dominique Mercy, Helena Pikon, Felicitas Willems and Urs Kaufmann – came from both front stage and backstage. People of various ages and backgrounds were chosen as interviewers.
The evening’s interviews resulted in 49 videoed dialogues which have since been transcribed and evaluated. The project is to be repeated in a similar form with other pieces.
Helena Pikon: “We did the piece in ’85 and of course I’m older now. I’ve lived until now and have gathered a lot of experience. I’m not talking about experience on stage, but experience of life – just like anybody else. If you were there you remember what the piece was like, or what it was. Not that you try to do the same thing again. That wouldn’t be right, either.”
“When I’m on the trestle, I can’t let myself think, ‘When will it be over?’ I just have to be not there. That’s very important. I can’t think, ‘Now I know when the music is going to stop, and then Dominique will come, and then, and then…’ If I do, I can’t keep it up. I have to try and get onto another level. I just have to try and forget where I am, and something else holds me.” “The first time I did that it lasted ages, of course. Pina asked me what I was doing. I did this improvisation. But of course I didn’t know how long it would take. Now it lasts around four minutes or a bit more. Back then I said, ‘Pina, I’m trembling.’ And she just looked at me and said, ‘Yes, that’s quite right.’”
“And it was very natural, in relation to what was happening in the piece as well – the story of the angel, and the woman with the man who pushes her down on the floor. That’s why it was exactly the right length for Pina. She didn’t tell me how to try it out – but she asked me to sit there just for a minute, and tried other things. Meanwhile I simply tried to hold on because I thought that was the right thing. And Pina accepted it as it is.”