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Pina Bausch's Danzón 

When: Fri., Dec. 2, 8 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 3, 8 p.m. 2011
Price: $20-$58

Maverick German choreographer Pina Bausch was a fearless explorer of life's inner landscapes. When the Julliard-trained dance-theater artist died in 2009, she left a legacy of works that blend modern, classical, and folk dance with film, spoken word, bleakness, fantasy, and even brutality -- works that garnered prestigious awards and polarized audiences worldwide. One of those works is 1995's Danzón, performed at Zellerbach Hall (Bancroft Way at Dana St., Berkeley) on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3, in her company's only US performances on its current tour. A diapered man crawls onto the stage to open the piece, a one-hundred-minute travelogue from birth to death with Mahler, Mexican pop, video projections, nude women in wheelbarrows, bittersweet loss of illusion, hope, and humor along the way. In other words, a lot like life -- with the possible exception of the nude women in wheelbarrows. 8 p.m., $20-$58. 510-642-9988 or CalPerformances.org

— Claudia Bauer

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