Dance Review: Pina Bausch - Mazurca Fogo (Fiery Mazurka)

In “Mazurca Fogo” Bausch envisioned a tight link between Lisbon and Brazil.

Pina Bausch's 'Mascura Fogo' (photo credit: Courtesy)
Pina Bausch's 'Mascura Fogo'
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israeli audiences have been exposed to Pina Bausch through her most important creation – “Dance Oracle” – through her various tours since the mid-’70s. She greatly influenced the dance field, and crowds anticipated her company’s frequent visits, which stopped around 20 years ago due to the political situation.
After Bausch died unexpectedly (2009), a surge of unprecedented global demand for her creations drove the company to tour extensively. Now, it was our turn, again.
“Mazurca Fogo” is part of several commissioned works focusing on cities such as Los Angeles, Palermo, Hong Kong and Lisbon. In that work Bausch envisioned a tight link between Lisbon and Brazil and used music, lush visuals on and off screen, to bridge between both coveted destinations.
Bausch kept the work’s structure as loose as can be, set to eclectic music. She wove endless transitions between short scenes and even more fragmented occurrences, including endless inconsequential solos, using fade-out lighting, sound and music to indicate shifting focal points and mood changes.
In contrast to its name, in many ways this work is particularly mellow, perhaps influenced by the sun, the beaches and sensuality attributed particularly to the Brazilian side of the equation.
A pleasantly safe and warm creation – though not one of her best – it carries numerous references to many earlier pieces by Bausch, through the way the body is carried, several positions and typical gestures, devoid of past aggressive, even violent scenes often pertaining to gender confrontations.
Most welcomed was a variation of her famous “parades,” as a string of couples moved languidly together in the same tempo while their loose hips swayed sensually. They were so relaxed, comfortable in their sensuality, and for a moment their faces brightened.
Without linear narrative, “Mazurcka Fogo” is a rather long collage of nuances and impressions portrayed with a light and sensitive touch, leaving Bausch’s frequent angst aside. Traces of kitschy romanticism and imagined nostalgia traps were camouflaged with pungent physical and situational humor. Yet the evening remained low-key where it was expected to soar.