Big Wuppertal 

Avant-garde German dance returns to Berkeley

It's been far too long since expressionist German choreographer Pina Bausch's idiosyncratic and always striking work was seen in Berkeley. The last time was in 1999, when she brought her comic 1982 piece Nelken ("Carnations") to UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall, replete with impish parodies of dance conventions and a stage full of the titular flowers to be smooshed by dancers' feet. Since then, local audiences have had to content themselves with occasional tantalizing glimpses of her troupe Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal from afar, such as the bit with dancers obstructed by chairs in Pedro Almodóvar's 2002 film Talk to Her. Now Cal Performances brings Bausch back with Ten Chi, which comes to Zellerbach Hall fresh from its North American premiere at UCLA a week before. Created during a residency in Japan in 2004, Ten Chi is the latest in a series of dance "travelogues" inspired by the particular regional cultures where they were conceived. In this one, Bausch trades in the carnations for cherry blossoms and whale fins for a sort of celebration of modern Japanese culture, at least in abstract, nonlinear strokes. Cal Performances is supplementing the performance with two short films about Bausch — Dance Theater of Pina Bausch (45 minutes, 1998) and Coffee with Pina (17 minutes, 2006) — shown for free on Sunday, November 18 at 5 p.m., presented by the Goethe-Institut, SF, at Cal's Wheeler Hall. Ten Chi plays Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 7 p.m., November 16-18 at Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley. Tickets $34-$76. 510-642-9988 or


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