The idea of an “exchange” is at the heart of this extraordinary two-part programme which marks the first collaboration involving the Pina Bausch Foundation (Germany), the École des Sables (Senegal) – an international centre for traditional and contemporary African dance – and Sadler's Wells theatre (United Kingdom).
A key work for understanding the aesthetics of Pina Bausch, "the mother of dance theatre" as well as one of the world’s most important choreographers, La Sagra della Primavera [The Festival of Spring] (1975) is performed by a company intentionally consisting of dancers coming from African countries. Faithful to Stravinsky's composition, the choreography - acclaimed by audiences and critics internationally - examines an inflexible ritual, with the sacrifice of a "chosen one", which changes the season from winter to spring. On stage, bare-chested men and scantily dressed women dance a dry and violent sacrificial rite on an earth-covered stage.
common ground[s] is a new work created, performed and inspired by the life of two extraordinary women: Germaine Acogny, “the mother of contemporary African dance” and winner of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2021 Venice Biennale, and Malou Airaudo, former member of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, where she played central roles in many works by Pina Bausch. Both are choreographers, teachers and mothers: this poetic and tender duet reflects their stories, their emotional experiences, and their common grounds.