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Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch + Terrain Boris Charmatz Nelken

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Two performers run forward in cream dresses. Others move props behind them. Hundreds of pink roses are on the floor.

The stage blooms with 8000 silk carnations in a playground for 20 exceptional dancers


A signature work by Pina Bausch, Nelken (Carnations) is a pinnacle in Tanztheater Wuppertal’s repertoire. Amplified by a new generation of performers, this bouquet of dance is an ode to the beauty of dancing bodies.

In the history of dance, few creations bear the stamp of genius. Nelken, premiered in 1982, is one of them. In a huge field of 8000 carnations, the ensemble deploys the seasons, moves from chair to chair, displays its virtuosity with a nod to classical forms.

The work conveys a world view that is tragic and cruel, but also tender and overflowing with a humanity that has touched audiences all over the world. Certain passages, such as the “Nelken Line,” have become iconic. Beauty blossoms here at every moment.

Image description: Two performers run towards the camera with their arms outstretched. They are wearing cream coloured dresses although they are mainly in shadow so you can’t see the details of their faces or costumes. Behind them are more performers, some in the same types of dresses, some in suits moving props like chairs and boxes. The performers create a busy feel. On the floor are hundreds of pink carnations standing upright on their stems from the black stage floor. The backdrop is also black. There are two scaffolding structures, one on each side of the image which have ladders on them.

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