REVIEW: Weird and wonderful, it’s always a pleasure to step into the world of Pina Bausch; all the more so if it’s… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
The Prickle (@ThePrickle) February 13, 2020
Weird and wonderful, it’s always a pleasure to step into the world of Pina Bausch and Tanztheater Wuppertal. All the more so if it’s for Sadler’s Wells’ UK premiere of Bluebeard (1977), whose original title is Bluebeard. While Listening to a Tape Recording of Béla Bartók’s “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” (a weird and wonderful thing in itself). While not everything is literal – and it’s not supposed to be – the show is a stirring and magnificent performance.
Recurring features of Bausch’s work abound: loose hair; men in suits; women in dresses; black chairs; compulsive laughter. But compared to other shows, like Viktor (seen at Sadler’s Wells in 2018), Bluebeard is more cohesive and structured. You are still induced in the trancelike state that is typical of Bausch’s Tanztheater, but you hold on to your awareness just enough to be able to remember the beautiful details of the performance – of which there are plenty.
The piece is a poignant, wide-raging exploration of couple and society dynamics, through the lenses of Bluebeard’s story. There’s manipulation, longing, obsession, tenderness, fierceness, violence. There are intimate duets and powerful group scenes, all happening on an evocative carpet made of autumnal leaves.
Through patterns and repetitions, and with excellent performances from Bluebeard (Christopher Tandy) and Judith (Silvia Farias Heredia), Bluebeard is pressing in pace as much as it is urgent in subject matter.
Pina's Bausch's early masterpiece, Bluebeard, hasn't been performed by her company for over 25 years but tonight it… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Sadler's Wells (@Sadlers_Wells) February 12, 2020
Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch — Bluebeard. While Listening to a Tape Recording of Béla Bartók’s “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” runs 12 – 15 February 2020 at Sadler’s Wells.