Kontakthof, is a world-famous choreography by the late German dance theater star Pina Baushc from 1978. In 2008, two of the original main dancers rehearsed the piece with fifty students, 14 to 18 years old, each with completely different background. Kontakthof, showcases the rituals of flirting, tuning somebody on and being rejected, of longings, posing, seduction and failing between women and men in a dancing, musical, theatrical, masterpiece.
Getting close together while keeping a distance at the same time, is a tough task for the very young dancers. They grow with every dance step and within ninety minutes they grow into adults. The setting is immediately familiar: a room with a curtained stage, a window and numerous doors. It might be a church hall, or a social club, or any place where men and women come to meet.
What it becomes in the choreographer Pina Bausch’s remarkable Kontakthof (literally contact yard) is a crucible, not so much for love as for some form of physical and emotional intimacy with the opposite sex.
In memory of Bausch – who died last year aged 68, five days after being diagnosed with cancer – the Barbican offers a unique opportunity to see both groups perform. They dance the same steps, simple routines to songs popular in Germany in the 1940s, but tell age-appropriate anecdotes and wear slightly different clothes.
It will be screened at Goethe Institute on Tuesday 7th January 2014, and entrance will be free.