• A motivation to move: Juxtaposing the embodied practices of Pina Bausch and Ingemar Lindh

      Bugeja, Nicola; University of Chester (Routledge, 2015-03-26)
      In their summer newsletter of 1996, the Centre for Performance Research (CPR) announced a workshop retreat to be led by Swedish theatre practitioner Ingemar Lindh at Druidstone in West Wales. The workshop, which was supposed to run in July of 1997, did not happen due to Lindh’s untimely death in Malta a few days before. The announcement described Lindh’s work as ‘oscillating between sensuality, even eroticism, on the one hand, and a kind of choreography of everyday life, similar sometimes to the work of Pina Bausch, on the other’ (CPR 1996, p. 9). Taking the CPR comparison as its cue, this article investigates an overlapping concern between the tanztheater practice of Bausch and the laboratory theatre work of Lindh: that whether called ‘movement’ or ‘action’, a performer’s work needs to be motivated by one’s personal input (memories, thoughts, images, and other mental processes) rather than executed as an estranged and dictated vocabulary of movement. This premise was largely a result of two major influential figures in Bausch’s and Lindh’s careers: Rudolph von Laban and Étienne Decroux. The article starts with a concise contextualisation of a reaction to rigid methodology in both tanztheater and laboratory theatre, i.e. Bausch’s and Lindh’s backgrounds respectively. It then juxtaposes Laban’s and Decroux’s reflections on embodied practice, leading the way to a discussion of the matter in the practices of Bausch and Lindh. To achieve broader understanding, the juxtaposition is supported by a close reading of Rick Kemp’s (2012) and Erika Fischer-Lichte’s (2008) accounts of ‘embodied mind’.