Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Pina bausch: the journey of the object
by Shouse, Sarah Elizabeth, M.F.A., Mills College, 2014, 50; 1557502
Abstract (Summary)

German choreographer Pina Bausch is recognized as one of the original creators of 20th century Dance Theater through her seamless synthesis of stage design elements and movement. Through her choreographic methodology she is able to combine the everyday gesture of the body with the functionality of objects to create an emotionality that is authentic and transcendent on stage. The objects/props on stage illuminate the object world where objects are animated by our desires, fears, and the need to express the human condition. I will look at the procedure that Bausch employs through the lens of the psychoanalytic theory of object relations, the theories of Alice Miller, D.W. Winnicott, and the sociology of Herbert Blumer to prove the objects on stage in Bausch's work offer a physical and emotional obstacle for the dancers to contend with.

In this study I will unfold the history and functionality of stage properties and the role of the "prop" in terms of German Theater revolutions, exploring the ideas of the prop as a hindrance as well as an object of amplification for the stage action. I will delve into the theatrical models of Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht, and Vsevolod Meyerhold, acknowledging the procedure and significance of theater objects through stage design. From here I will connect Bausch to the evolution of the German modern dance pioneers- Rudolph Laban and her mentor, Kurt Jooss. Through the work of Kurt Jooss, with whom Bausch studied at the Folkwang Schule in Essen, Germany, and specifically The Green Table , we begin to see the great influence that Jooss had on Bausch. I will discuss his use of props in his work as a means to illuminate his ideas of politics and war. This will then narrow in on the personal dance history of Bausch and her evolution as an artist, focusing on the mentorship she received in her career. The discussion will conclude with an analysis of her creative process and the use of specific objects that reflect meaning through the seminal works of Bausch: Café Mueller, Kontakthof, Bluebeard, and Waltzer.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murphy, Ann
School: Mills College
Department: Dance
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 53/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Dance, Performing Arts
Keywords: Dance and props, German dance, Object relations, Pina bausch, Post modern dance
Publication Number: 1557502
ISBN: 978-1-303-94961-6
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