Dallas — For a couple of months now, I’ve been receiving Facebook messages, been tagged in posts, and asked in person if I’m going to do the Pina project. The Pina project? I must admit that at first I was a bit confused about what people were talking about, and as a huge fan of Bausch’s work (okay, “huge” might be kind of an understatement; I did just recently fly up to New York for 24-hours just to see the company perform The Rite of Spring and Café Müller) I was disappointed in myself for not knowing about this first. But with a little research, and a helpful Dance Magazine article, everything was cleared up.
Earlier this year, the Pina Bausch Foundation launched “The Nelken Line” Project to share Bausch’s famous line-dance and to encourage fans to start their own lines. Just to give a bit of background information, in 1982, Bausch choreographed Nelken—which means “carnations”—during which dancers walk in a single-file line, performing the same four distinct gestures over and over. For Bausch, each of the gestures represented one of the four seasons. But the movement also calls forth the idea of community-building and sharing. The work is most often performed in off-beat ways, during intermissions and in non-traditional spaces. And as Danztheater Wuppertal, Bausch’s company, rarely performs, the Nelkin Line possesses a beautiful reverence when it appears.
Participants have come from Morocco to Chile to Cyprus, performing in locations like soccer stadiums, a French nursery school, and through the campus of Jacob’s Pillow. The Foundation asks that anyone who stages a “Nelken Line,” share their videos with them—you can view all the videos on the Pina Bausch Foundation’s Vimeo channel—and so many people have participated that the project was has been extended to May 31, 2018.
Which means that there is time for a Dallas’ “Nelken Line” to happen! And with the help of Tim Johnson of Kitchen Dog Theater, I’m making my Pina dreams come true and staging one this weekend!
On Saturday, Oct. 21 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas, I, along with some members of the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group and friends from the dance and theatre community, will be leading small group workshops to teach the movement score of the “Nelken Line.” Interested participants may drop in at any time to learn the choreography, but we are encouraging people to spend the day with us, meeting other members of the community, and bonding over a shared activity.
That is one of the main elements that I have always gravitated toward in Bausch’s work—how fundamentally human it is. Her work explores and examines the human condition, and offers situations that are universal in their content but abstract and absurd in their presentation. There is always a sense of humor to her work, and her performers move with such ease that it looks pedestrian and second-nature. As a choreographer, I find her methodology inspiring and have crafted my own mission as an artist around her concepts, redefining them for my own artistic practice. I believe that dance can happen anywhere, at any time, and by anyone, and that dance has the power to bring people together from all walks of life for a common purpose—to share space and ideas. No matter your age, language, or ability, you can and should dance. Technique can be your foundation, but it is not your identity.
To join our line in Dallas, drop into the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The complete schedule for the day is below.
- 11 a.m.-2 p.m.: dancers from DGDG will be leading small group workshops to teach the choreography.
- 1-1:45 p.m.: A group lunch time, with snacks provided by DGDG (all are welcome to bring food to share).
- 2-4 p.m.: We will film the choreography inside and outside of the Library. This video documentation will be provided to the Pina Bausch Foundation.
No dance experience is required. All are welcome. Interested participants are asked to bring clothing options for the filming that have no logos or patterns on them, but can be any color. This workshop is in cooperation with Kitchen Dog Theater, and supported by the Dallas Public Library.
And, this is my birthday week, so come and celebrate with me!
» Danielle Georgiou is a dance educator, critic and writer. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of DGDG (Danielle Georgiou Dance Group) and is a working dancer and performance artist. Her column Sixth Position appears on the third Friday of the month on TheaterJones.com.
- February 2014: Cash Choreography
- March 2014: Make the Fringe Your Future
- April 2014: Don't Freak Out, It's Just an Audition
- May 2014: You Love Dance. You're Not Alone
- June 2014: Persevering Through Movement
- July 2014: Sharing in Success
- August 2014: To the Barre
- September 2014: Method Act
- October 2014: Fear of Flying
- December 2014: The Editor Dance
- January 2015: Community Relations
- February 2015: The Fabric of Movement
- March 2015: State of the Dance
- April 2015: The Dance Mom Complex
- May 2015: Who Wants to Date a Dancer?
- June 2015: Figuring How Men Fit In
- August 2015: Creative Economy
- September 2015: Dancing to Learn
- October 2015: Whose Idea Is It Anyway?
- December 2015: '15 Going on '16
- January 2016: In Memoriam
- Februrary 2016: The Politics of Dancing
- March 2016: No column
- April 2016: Defining Dance Theatre
- May 2016: No column
- June 2016: Dancing for Change
- July/August 2016: No column
- September 2016: Sweat the Details, Not the Consequences
- October/November 2016: No column
- December 2016: Louder Than Tweets
- January 2017: Making and Moving
- February 2017: Don't Fudge the Truth
- March 2017: The Collective Unconsciousness of Creating
- April 2017: Professionally Speaking
- May 2017: Dancer Depictions
- June 2017: No column (Danielle was busy preparing for Donkey Beach)
- July 2017: Where Have all the Critics Gone?
- August 2017: Rain Dance
- September 2017: The Theory of Taking Risks