Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch announces 2020-21 season opener

After a very long, difficult barren period, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch is to embark on its 2020-21 season on September 3 with the new 2019 production of Bausch’s He takes her by the hand and leads her into the castle, the others follow at Wuppertal Opera House. Audiences will be greatly reduced to adhere to distancing regulations.

Originally created in 1978, He takes her by the hand and leads her into the castle, the others follow at one point lay unperformed for 29 years. It was created as a coproduction with Schauspielhaus Bochum and represented a new approach in Pina Bausch’s working methods in her early work. Theatre director Peter Zadek had invited her to develop her own version of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the enigmatic title is taken from a stage direction in the play. Searching for a personal language of imagery and movement, Pina Bausch began asking her performers associative questions, a practice which was to come to define Bausch’s approach.

The new production is directed by Josephine Ann Endicott and Hans Dieter Knebel, both members of the original 1978 cast, assisted by Bénédicte Billiet.

For the acting roles, artistic director Bettina Wagner-Bergelt has enlisted two very strong theatre and film actors. Johanna Wokalek, who also performed in Pina Bausch’s Brecht-Weill double-bill The Seven Deadly Sins in 2019, takes over the role originally played by Mechthild Großmann. The role originally played by Vitus Zeplichal is played by Maik Solbach.

Looking further ahead, Tanztheater Wuppertal hopes to stage a varied season, with new formats adapted to the whatever safety and hygiene regulations are in force. Given the ongoing volatile coronavirus situation, the company has said it will only release information about performances, workshops and projects close to the time, and once it is clear that rehearsals and performances are genuinely possible.