Pina & Pabst

"The theatrical spaces Peter Pabst has been creating for Pina Bausch for nearly thirty years conceive of the ground as uncertain terrain. They expose the dancers to landscapes which require constant, careful attention if they are to avoid a fall. At the same time they create autonomous poetic worlds providing the dancers and the audience with access to a cosmos of associations. (...)

Pabst's theatrical spaces evoke psycho-geographical landscapes oscillating between art and nature, between dream-like surreality and an almost literal naturalism.(...) His spatial installations achieve a high degree os sensuality, by recreating exterior landscapes in the interior space of theatre with disturbing precision.(...)

On Pabst and Bausch's stages, nature introduces a highly sensual quality and challenges the dancer's bodies with its physical presence. At the same time it opens up an autonomous poetic cosmos which continually confronts the dancers whit the basic conditions of human existence. (...)

In a text for Pina Bausch, Heiner Müller wrote: "Time in Pina Bausch's theatre is a time of fairy tales. Space is threatened with occupation by one grammatical system or another - that of ballet or of drama - but the axis of the dance protects it from either occupation. This is virgin territory: an island which suddenly appears, tueh product of an unknown catastrophe (forgotten or forthcoming): maybe it will happen right now, while the performance is running". Peter Pabst's theatrical spaces are these islands between catastrophe and fairy tale. (...) Pabst and Bausch's theatrical spaces could perhaps be seen as the utopian spaces of "another middle age" -islands of fairy-tale time, as Heiner Müller writes- which, given the historical and current catastrophes, allow us to as the question again, how can we live together?

Fabian Lettow.

Ground without fundament.
An exhibition of Peter Pabst's stage desingns al the Kunstmuseum Bochum.