Tanztheater Wuppertal in Kontakthof. Photo: Laurent Phillippe
Tanztheater Wuppertal in Kontakthof. Photo: Laurent Phillippe

Pina Bausch’s Kontakthof comes to BAM this week. It’s five years since Bausch’s death, and the company soldiers on. The piece is about love—what Pina Bausch work isn’t?—and the lengths to which we are willing to go to get it. Humiliation, tenderness, brutality, flirtation: all this is part of Bausch’s amorous vocabulary. This battle takes place in a dance-hall, the kontakthof, or “contact zone.”

You can read a little introduction to Kontakthof I wrote for BAM here.


    1. Hello, I’m so glad you wrote. I don’t believe her works in general area about love—I think they’re about life—but I did feel that Kontakthof was very much about trying to negotiate tenderness, passion, attraction, and our own self-worth. There are the couples who caress, and then torture each other; the women who suck in their stomachs, hoping to look more attractive; the men who flood the pink girl with protection until she cries; the two young lovers who undress across the room from each other; the row of people who recount their love stories for the audience; the woman who cries out “darling,” over and over. Even the duck documentary—it’s about feeling protected. There’s a quite interesting discussion about the issue of tenderness in the film Dancing Dreams, which is also, by the way, a wonderful film, available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

      1. I’d very much like to see that film but wasn’t available when it was screened last night. Incidentally, Amazon does make it available for viewing via its “instant video” service (which I’m not signed up for), and it’s also available for purchase as a DVD, but Netflix’s listing marks it with availability unknown. I’ve added it to my Saved queue there.

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