Dancing at Dusk with Bausch's Rite of Spring

Published: 18 June 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Dancing at Dusk – A moment with Pina Bausch’s The Rite of Spring Credit: Florian Heinzen-Ziob

The next Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage offering is Dancing at Dusk—A moment with Pina Bausch’s The Rite of Spring, in partnership with Pina Bausch Foundation and École des Sables, from Wednesday 1 July 2020.

Filmed as the world descended into lockdown, it offers a glimpse into the re-staging of Pina Bausch’s 1975 work, capturing the last rehearsal with a company of 38 dancers from 14 African countries in preparations for an international tour. This year, the production was due to tour the world, opening in March 2020 in Dakar, but, as theatres were closing around the world, the company conducted its last rehearsal on the beach near its base at École des Sables in Toubab Dialaw, Senegal while filmmaker Florian Heinzen-Ziob captured the moment.

Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells, said, “we are so delighted to be able to bring this unique film to audiences across the world. Coronavirus has had a profound impact everywhere, and for us, has sadly resulted in the postponement of much of our work, including The Rite of Spring. Despite this, the company seized the opportunity to capture this powerful, one-of-a-kind moment, which feels very much in harmony with the spirit of Pina Bausch. Perhaps now more than ever, this type of international collaboration is how Sadler’s Wells responds best to the difficult times we are in, bringing our artists and audiences together once again”

Germaine Acogny, Founder of École des Sables, said, “when I saw for the first time a complete run-through of the piece with these fabulous dancers who had managed to interiorise Pina’s choreography in spite of cultural and technical differences, I was deeply touched and moved and wished that Pina could have seen this powerful interpretation. I am sure she would have loved it.”

Salomon Bausch, Executive Director, Pina Bausch Foundation, said, “bringing The Rite of Spring to the beach and shooting it just after sunset was a spontaneous reaction to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the last moment of being together within a crisis surrounded by uncertainty. A moment of strength and self-empowerment but also fragile and of unique awareness, dancing on sand and with costumes for the very first time. I think we have all experienced Pina’s Sacre in a way we’ve never done before."

Dancing at DuskA moment with Pina Bausch’s The Rite of Spring film is available to rent via Vimeo. Audiences can subscribe online to register their interest, or can pre-purchase a ticket to watch the film, available until Friday 31 July 2020.

The staged production of The Rite of Spring will tour internationally in 2021 as part of a double-bill with a new work created and performed by Malou Airaudo and Germaine Acogny, common ground[s].