My Wupper, My Tal

The other day, an article talked about human connection with places that they have never visited. Wuppertal may be the case for me. That was in January, 2014. When I firstly arrived at Wuppertal Hauptbahnhof, I felt having been there before. Walking thru the tunnel, a graffiti at right side caught my attention. Recognisable movement. Melancholic sadness behind closed eyes. Sacre du Printemps. Unfortunately, it disappeared due to the renovation.

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I heard Schwebebahn passing just above the tunnel. Indeed, the documentary Pina never left my head. Eugen Langen set up this railway along the river, reminding me of Peter’s scenography. Trains are born dancers, carrying on their repertory for over 100 years. A neat participative project if you count the passengers. It was the 40th anniversary of Pina’s company. A tribute to Peter Pabst was held in the Sculpture Park. I remember having spent quite a moment in front of the Villa Waldfrieden. Videos of Pina’s works masked all the windows. Till my second trip later that year, in May precisely, I finally saw the integrity of the villa.

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I decided to go to Wuppertal as I had difficulty in purchaing a ticket for Für die Kinder von gestern, heute und morgen in Paris. A Pina’s piece in Paris starts with a pre-show in front of the theater. A few courageous Parisians stand in front of the Théâtre de la Ville, with a white paper in hand, expecting that someone will have a ticket to cede. In the evening, when I entered the Opernhaus, I scanned each and every detail, overwhelmed by the place and Pina herself. This is it, the place where Pina started a new genre, spent time with dancers, received critisicms and applauses. It has been forty years and she has gone now. Literally my eyes were red.

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The show started, and the documentary came back again. I bought the postcards of Pina after the show and sent a few to my friends before leaving.

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