Due to the worldwide measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, the rehearsal of Pina Bausch's The Rite of Spring had to be halted. All planned performances of the double bill common ground[s] • The Rite of Spring were cancelled for the time beeing.
In the recent years, the Pina Bausch Foundation has begun to transmit choreographies of Pina Bausch to international companies, such as the English National Ballet, the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen or the Semperoper Ballett. Thereby, Pina Bausch’s work becomes not only accessible to a wider, international audience, but also to a new generation of dancers.
These transmissions have repeatedly raised questions about what actually defines a piece, which influences dancers exert onto a piece, and how a piece changes. These experiences gave rise to the idea to have a completely new ensemble come together especially for the transmission of a piece of Pina Bausch.
In collaboration with the École des Sables (Toubab Dialaw, Senegal), with who the Foundation was continuously connected through applicants and grant holders of the Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance and Choreography, and the Sadler’s Wells (London) the double bill Germaine Acogny, Malou Airaudo common ground[s] • Pina Bausch The Rite of Spring emerged.
For the production of The Rite of Spring auditions with a total of 135 participants took place in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Senegal in December 2019. 67 dancers attended a following intensive workshop at the École des Sables, during which the rehearsal directors decided on the final selection of 38 dancers from 14 African countries for the production.
Together with other current and former members of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Josephine Ann Endicott and Jorge Puerta Armenta selected 38 dancers from 14 different African countries for the production during an intensive workshop at the École des Sables, from a total of 180 applicants and 138 audition participants.
Starting in February 2020, this newly-formed ensemble prepared itself in an intensive rehearsal phase with a team of former and current members of Tanztheater Wuppertal for the Dakar premiere dates on 25th and 28th of March 2020 and the following tour to Wuppertal, London, Paris and Amsterdam. On the 15th of March 2020, the rehearsals had to be terminated and the performances postponed until further notice due to the worldwide corona pandemic. Possible catch-up dates are currently being reviewed and will be announced on this website. Further performances in Africa and worldwide are planned.
With common ground[s], Germaine Acogny , founder of the École des Sables and known as the “mother of contemporary African dance”, and Malou Airaudo, an icon of the first hour at the Tanztheater Wuppertal, present a new work. In this piece, the two dance legends, both over 70 years old, meet as wives, mothers, grandmothers and granddaughters and explore their dance heritage.
The joint work also connected two schools – the exchange between Germaine Acogny and Malou Airaudo began at the École des Sables in November 2019 and continued at the Folkwang University of the Arts (Essen) in February 2020, whose dance department Malou Airaudo headed until 2018. The music for Fabrice Bouillon’s composition for the new duet was also created at both places. Stage rehearsals and the development of a lighting design were subsequently held at Sadler’s Wells (London).
Before disbanding in March 2020, due to the worldwide measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, rehearsal directors and dancers seized the moment by bringing Pina Bausch’s choreography to the beach of Toubab Dialaw (Senegal) for a last run-through. This spontaneous endeavor was captured on film by filmmaker Florian Heinzen-Ziob and his team, documenting a unique moment of self-empowerment and togetherness.
Restaging The Rite of Spring
Artistic Direction: Josephine Ann Endicott, Jorge Puerta Armenta
Rehearsal Direction: Clémentine Deluy, Çağdaş Ermiş, Ditta Miranda Jasjfi, Barbara Kaufmann, Julie Shanahan, Kenji Takagi
Dancers: Kouassi Rodolphe Allui, Sahadatou Ami Toure, Dovi Afi Anique Ayiboe, Korotimi Barro, Evrard Elisee Bekoin, Ugwarelojo Gloria Biachi, Luciene Cabral, Khadija Cisse, Sonia Zandile Constable, Rokhaya Coulibaly, Inas Dasylva, Joannie Diane, Astou Diop, L. Serge A. Dodo, Christie Dossou, Adjo Delali Foli, Aoufice Junior Gouri, Zadi Landry Kipre, Bazoumana Kouyate, Profit Lucky, Babacar Mané, Vuyo Mahashe, Vasco Pedro Mirine, Stéphanie Mwamba, Sidnoma Florent Nikiema, Shell Tetely Ohene-Nyako, Brian Oloo, Harivola Rakotondrasoa, Oliva Randrianasolo, Asanda Saru Ruda, Tom Jules Samie, Amy Collé Seck, Pacome Landry Seka, Gueassa Eva Sibi, Carmelita Youriane G. Siwa, Armel Gnago Sosso-Ny, Amadou Lamine Sow, Kadidja Tiemanta, B Abdoul Aziz Zoundi
Choreography and Dance: Germaine Acogny, Malou Airaudo
Music: Fabrice Bouillon LaForest
Dramaturgy: Sophiatou Kossoko
Light Design: Zeynep Kepekli
Costumes: Petra Leidner
The project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the International Coproduction Fund of the Goethe Institut and kindly supported by the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch.
A Pina Bausch Foundation, École des Sables and Sadler’s Wells production, co-produced with Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Théâtre de la Ville Luxembourg, Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Festspielhaus St. Pölten.