Lu ChenFollow

Document Type

Honors Project


This essay is the research basis for the creative component of the THDA Honors project, "Wilted Home: How To Quickly Rehydrate A Dying Plant", performed at Macalester College Main Stage Theatre, in February 2022.


Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater (“dance-theater” in English) revolutionized global dance theater performance. From a feminist perspective, Bausch mixed movement with theatrical design elements and film techniques to express emotions and sentiments of women-men relationships, and the boundary between performing and being displayed. Inspired by German Expressionist Dance and post-World-War-II avant-garde movements across Europe and the United States, her movement language and text were visceral in expressiveness through repetition, alienation, montage technique, and emotive gestures (Helden 134). In this essay I explore how Bausch’s approach to dance-theater can welcome dancers who stand outside of the German choreographer’s identity as a white European woman. For example, what does a safe creative space look like for queer Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) with disabilities? Queer performance art, cyborg theory, and queer embodiment theory have encouraged queer artists to reimagine a reality with gender fluidity and to reject binary thinking (Haraway 3). This essay discusses the aesthetics and methods of Bausch, cyborg theory, and queer dance, to explore how we may create Bausch-inspired performance by and for queer BIPOC movers with limited rehearsal time, technique training, and disabilities.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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