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Depuis saison 2006/07Mitglied des Ensembles
Avant 2020Mitglied des Ensembles


Pau Aran Gimeno

was born in 1981 in Barcelona and grew up in a small town near the Catalan capital. He discovered his love of dance at the age of ten in his local dance school, where he learned Latin American and ballroom as well as jazz and modern dance, and a little classical ballet. Together with his dancing partner he won the Spanish ballroom championships. After finishing school he wanted to make his hobby his profession and studied ballet in Barcelona, taking classes in contemporary dance. In 2003, at twenty-two, he switched to the Royal Conservatory of Dance in Madrid. Although he didn’t want to be a classical dancer a solid technical grounding was important to him. He saw pieces by Pina Bausch when the company were on tour in Barcelona and Madrid and took workshops with Nazareth Panadero in Barcelona and Malou Airaudo in Paris. Airaudo invited him to audition at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. He was accepted and joined the third years there in autumn 2005.

From Essen to Wuppertal

One week later he went to an audition at the Tanztheater Wuppertal. Pina Bausch suggested he continue his studies while working for her as a guest. He learned The Rite of Spring and Keuschheitslegende (Legend of Chastity). His role in Wuppertal was soon expanded and he stepped in for colleagues in Der Fensterputzer (The window washer), Ten Chi, Masurca Fogo, For the Children of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and Nefés. He dropped out of the course in Essen to work full time at the Tanztheater Wuppertal. What fascinated him was what he calls the ‘feminine way of working’, characterised by respect and love coupled with huge freedom. This also involved playing with gender roles. In Pina Bausch’s dance theatre men continually appear in women’s clothing, not as drag, but as a matter of course. Pau Aran Gimeno developed his own solo wearing a dress, which Pina Bausch liked. When he complained that one day he’d like to be a ‘proper’ man, she replied, ‘You already are.’ Here was a wholly different understanding of gender from ballroom dancing, where the roles of men and women are clearly defined.

Dancer’s DNA

Bamboo Blues, in 2007, was the first production where Pau Aran Gimeno contributed to the creation process. He danced in twenty-five pieces altogether, and engaged in increasing depth in Pina Bausch’s physical language. It was Dominique Mercy above all who taught him, while rehearsing Iphigenie auf Tauris, how precisely the body must be drawn into every detail, how to deploy breath and weight correctly, how to clarify the intention of every movement to lend it significance. And despite this complexity the final goal was to stand on the stage as simply and honestly as possible, not in a role, but as a human being. This experience, like that of all his other teachers, became part of his dancer’s DNA, he says. Alongside Mercy and Airaudo, the teachers who have influenced him include Gonzalo Zaragoza, Ricardo Franco, Slavek Michalsky, Manel Rodríguez, Máximo Hita, Moreno Bernardi, Francesc Bravo, Cristiane Boullosa, Manel Estella, Teresa Llargués, Sergio Roccatti, Alessandra Valeri, Ernesta Corvino, Janet Panetta and Ed Kortlandt. Since 2020 he has been passing on this accumulated knowledge as a freelance dance teacher, and it flows into his own work as a choreographer.

Text: Norbert Servos
Translation: Steph Morris



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