A quest for love and power, where tenderness and violence merge
Listening to a tape recording of Béla Bartók’s opera “Bluebeard’s Castle”
In conflict with the Wuppertal orchestra, Pina Bausch decided in the mid-1970s to use recordings as soundtracks for her performances. For Bluebeard, the music is a scenic element, manipulated by the dancers: the tape recorder that broadcasts Bartók’s opera is constantly stopped, rewound, and played again. Repetition becomes a structural process of her choreographic language. In a set by Rolf Borzik, a large room in the castle with a floor covered in dead leaves that crunch under the dancers’ feet, Bluebeard and his new wife Judith love and confront each other with violence and screams. This reading of Perrault’s tale shows a monstrous and aggressive Bluebeard, locked in his despair. Pina Bausch choreographs him as a tyrant and as a man who suffers from the control he exercises over others and himself.