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Information

1938

born in Berlin

1972 to 1975

Dancer with Gerhard Bohner in Darmstadt

1980 to 2016

Costume Designer at Tanztheater Wuppertal


Biography

Marion Cito

was born in 1938 in Berlin where she began dance lessons from the age of ten with Tatjana Gsovsky, who later recruited her for the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Marion Cito soon rose to become the top soloist, performing in Gsovsky works as well as choreographies by George Balanchine, Kenneth McMillan, Serge Lifar, John Cranko and Antony Tudor. Her strength was characterisation. She was also open to new ideas, dancing in the first pieces by her colleague Gerhard Bohner. In 1972, when Bohner took over as head of the Darmstadt Ballet Marion Cito went with him. But after three years the project ended due to differences with the theatre management. She now no longer wished to dance for health reasons. In 1976 Pina Bausch invited her to Wuppertal as her assistant, then persuaded her to return to the stage once more, due to casting issues, for Bluebeard, Komm, tanz mit mir (Come dance with me) and Renate wandert aus (Renate Emigrates).

From dancer to costume designer

Another change came in 1980. When Pina Bausch’s personal and professional partner Rolf Borzik died, she asked Marion Cito to take over designing the costumes. Given that the Tanztheater Wuppertal’s working methods engaged intensively with the dancers’ personalities the costumes had to be individual too and yet must also form an overall picture. They should evoke everyday life yet also exceed it. Beauty and elegance alternated with simplicity and minimalism. Alongside that there must always be space for a childish pleasure in dressing up, which generated strange and perplexing figures: a muscular man playing the god of love, shooting arrows in a tight lurex miniskirt; a man switching between cantankerous grandma and romantic ballerina in a long tutu. Men frequently appear in women’s clothes in the pieces, not for a superficial drag look but to place a question mark behind established gender roles. Clothes make the man; they are part of the role play between the sexes and they play on the social environment.

Delicate balances

For each production Marion Cito supplied a wealth of samples, buying fabric and clothes on their extended tours all over the world. Each time she was forced to rely on her intuition. Before rehearsals started, she had to sense which direction a piece might perhaps head in and plan accordingly, otherwise neither she nor the workshops could keep pace with the development of the piece. Because the pieces were assembled relatively late in the process, the practical issues only emerged towards the end: insufficient time to change, colour combinations created through constellations on stage which weren’t initially planned. Extreme flexibility and rapid reactions were required. The increasingly extensive maintenance of the repertoire was also highly labour-intensive, including urgent re-casting and, not infrequently, pregnant dancers. Her work resembled a game with endless variables and multiple unknown factors and yet over the years she developed a masterful serenity derived from a deep love of the pieces and their world view. It was only in 2016, after forty years, that Marion Cito bade farewell to the Tanztheater Wuppertal to retire.

Text by Norbert Servos
Translated by Steph Morris


Gallery


Piece creation

Season 1976/77
Come Dance With Me

Collaboration

Season 1977/78
Season 1978/79
Kontakthof

Collaboration

Season 1978/79
Arien

Collaboration

Season 1979/80
Season 1979/80
Season 1980/81
Bandoneon

Costumes

Season 1981/82
Walzer

Costumes

Season 1982/83
Season 1984/85
Season 1985/86
Viktor

Costumes, Collaboration

Season 1986/87
Ahnen

Costumes

Season 1989/90
Season 1990/91
Tanzabend II

Costumes

Season 1993/94
Season 1994/95
Danzón

Costumes, Collaboration

Season 1995/96
Nur Du (Only You)

Costumes, Collaboration

Season 1996/97
Der Fensterputzer (The Window Washer)

Assistants to the director, Costumes

Season 1997/98
Masurca Fogo

Collaboration, Costumes

Season 1998/99
O Dido

Costumes, Collaboration

Season 1999/2000
Kontakthof. With Ladies and Gentlemen over 65

Collaboration, Costumes based from Rolf Borzik´s sketches

Season 1999/2000
Wiesenland

Collaboration, Costumes

Season 2000/01
Água

Collaboration, Costumes

Season 2001/02
Season 2002/03
Nefés

Collaboration, Costumes

Season 2003/04
Ten Chi

Costumes, Collaboration

Season 2004/05
Rough Cut

Collaboration, Costumes

Season 2005/06
Vollmond (Full Moon)

Costumes, Collaboration

Season 2006/07
Bamboo Blues

Collaboration, Costumes

Season 2007/08
'Sweet Mambo'

Costumes, Collaboration

Season 2008/09

Premieres

Season 1976/77

PieceBluebeard. While Listening to a Tape Recording of Béla Bartók's Opera "Duke Bluebeard's Castle"
Date8 January 1977
VenueOpernhaus Wuppertal
Wuppertal
Germany
DanceAnne Marie Benati
Arnaldo Alvarez
Barbara Passow-Diekamp
Colleen Finneran-Meessmann
Ed Kortlandt
Elisabeth Clarke
Esco Edmondson
Fernando Cortizo
Guy Detot
Hans Pop
Heinz Samm
Hiltrud Blanck
Jan Minařík

Bluebeard

John Giffin
Josephine Ann Endicott
Luis P. Layag
Mari Di Lena
Marion Cito
Marlis Alt

Judith

Michael Diekamp
Monika Sagon
Monika Wacker
Tjitske Broersma
Vivienne Newport
Yolanda Meier
StagehandJosef Lindler
LightingHans-Joachim Deinert
Make-upHeinz Dildey
SoundHorst Kersten
Costume assistantOrtrud Himmelreich
Ballet masterEgbert Strolka
BallettkorrepetitionWerner Precht
Technical directionRolf Bachmann
Workshop managementLeo Haase
Stage managerHerbert Görsch
PropsGünther Fränzel
Source of castBooklet for “Bluebeard. While Listening to a Tape Recording of Béla Bartók's Opera "Duke Bluebeard's Castle"” by Pina Bausch in in Wuppertal, Jan. 8, 1977
Discover photos, videos and more in the archivesBrowse the archives
Season 1976/77

PieceCome Dance With Me
Date26 May 1977
VenueOpernhaus Wuppertal
Wuppertal
Germany
DanceAnne Marie Benati
Arnaldo Alvarez
Barbara Passow-Diekamp
Colleen Finneran-Meessmann
Ed Kortlandt
Elisabeth Clarke
Esco Edmondson
Fernando Cortizo
Gisbert Rüschkamp
Guy Detot
Hans Pop
Heinz Samm
Hiltrud Blanck
Jan Minařík
John Giffin
Josephine Ann Endicott
Luis P. Layag
Mari Di Lena
Marion Cito
Monika Sagon
Monika Wacker
Tjitske Broersma
Vivienne Newport
Yolanda Meier
StagehandPaul Aron
LightingHans-Joachim Deinert
Make-upHeinz Dildey
SoundHorst Kersten
Costume assistantOrtrud Himmelreich
Ballet masterEgbert Strolka
BallettkorrepetitionWerner Precht
Technical directionRolf Bachmann
Workshop managementLeo Haase
Stage managerHerbert Görsch
PropsGünther Fränzel
Source of castEvening leaflet for “Come Dance With Me” by Pina Bausch in in Wuppertal, May 26, 1977
Discover photos, videos and more in the archivesBrowse the archives
Season 1977/78

PieceRenate wandert aus (Renate Emigrates)
Date30 December 1977
VenueOpernhaus Wuppertal
Wuppertal
Germany
DanceAnne Marie Benati
Arnaldo Alvarez
Barbara Passow-Diekamp
Dana Sapiro
Dominique Mercy
Ed Kortlandt
Erich Leukert
Fernando Cortizo
Heinz Samm
Hiltrud Blanck
Héléna Pikon
Jacques Patarozzi
Jan Minařík
John Giffin
Josephine Ann Endicott
Luis P. Layag
Malou Airaudo
Mari Di Lena
Marion Cito
Marlis Alt
Monika Sagon
Monika Wacker
Tjitske Broersma
Vivienne Newport
Yolanda Meier
StagehandPaul Aron
LightingHans-Joachim Deinert
Make-upHeinz Dildey
SoundHorst Kersten
Costume assistantOrtrud Himmelreich
Ballet masterEgbert Strolka
Jean Cébron
BallettkorrepetitionWerner Precht
Technical directionRolf Bachmann
Workshop managementLeo Haase
Stage managerHerbert Görsch
PropsGünther Fränzel
Source of castEvening leaflet for “Renate wandert aus (Renate Emigrates)” by Pina Bausch in in Wuppertal, Dec. 30, 1977
Discover photos, videos and more in the archivesBrowse the archives
Season 1978/79

PieceArien
Date12 May 1979
VenueOpernhaus Wuppertal
Wuppertal
Germany
DanceAnne Marie Benati
Anne Martin
Arnaldo Alvarez
Arthur Rosenfeld
Beatrice Libonati
Christian Trouillas
Ed Kortlandt
Elisabeth Clarke
Fernando Cortizo
Gary Austin Crocker
Heinz Samm
Jan Minařík
John Giffin
Josephine Ann Endicott
Lutz Förster
Mari Di Lena
Marion Cito
Meryl Tankard
Monika Sagon
Monika Wacker
Silvia Kesselheim
Vivienne Newport
StagehandJosef Lindler
LightingHans-Joachim Deinert
Make-upHeinz Dildey
SoundHorst Kersten
Klaus Grimm
Ballet masterEgbert Strolka
Jean Cébron
BallettkorrepetitionWerner Precht
Technical directionRolf Bachmann
Leitung KostümRenate Eichberg
Workshop managementLeo Haase
Stage managerHerbert Görsch
PropsGünther Fränzel
Source of castEvening leaflet for “Arien” by Pina Bausch in in Wuppertal, May 12, 1979
Discover photos, videos and more in the archivesBrowse the archives

From the Pina Bausch Archives
Marion Cito

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