Esplanade Presents | da:ns festival


Nelken (Carnations)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch (Germany)
13 – 16 Oct 2016 Thu – Sun
13 – 15 Oct 2016 : 8pm
16 Oct 2016 : 3pm
13 – 15 Oct 2016 : 8pm
16 Oct 2016 : 3pm
1hr 50mins (no intermission)
Esplanade Theatre

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There will be no latecomer admissions for this performance.

There will be a post performance talk with the artists on 15 Oct 2016, Sat.

This event is over

$20, $40*, $70**^, $100^

Concessions for students, NSFs and seniors: $25*, $45**

^Esplanade&Me Special

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Black card: 15% savings

da:ns festival Special

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School Special: $10 each

Limited tickets available only for school bookings of 10 student tickets and above. Applicable to all schools including international schools and private institutions. For details and school bookings, please contact Esplanade Box Office at 6828 8389 or email

Tote Board Arts Grant

Schools may use the Tote Board Arts Grant to subsidise up to 50% (excluding GST) of the ticket price. Applicable to Secondary, Junior College and Centralised Institute and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) levels.

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“Bausch was one of the 20th century's most important choreographers, and her dances juxtaposed chaos, dreamscapes and riveting human emotion.” The Washington Post
“Bausch was a genius… Her mixture of dance and theatre has shaped contemporary dance today and has challenged audiences worldwide.” Dance Magazine
“one of the most breathtaking designs in dance history.” The Guardian

It began with controversy; in 1973 Pina Bausch was appointed director of dance for the Wuppertal theatres and the form she developed in those early years was wholly unfamiliar. Bausch’s new style of tanztheater or dance theatre mixed speech with steps, everyday gestures with emotional directness, and complex collages of sound and imagery that together revealed profound portraits of humanity. In Wuppertal the seeds were sown for a revolution which was to emancipate and redefine dance throughout the world.

Creating up to the year of her death in 2009, Bausch’s made works of powerful moving images reflecting the inner landscapes of our human existence. These revelations examined what brings us closer to fulfilling our need for love, and what distances us from it. Her creations do not seek to teach, nor claim to know better, instead generating familiar experiences in our lives: exhilarating or sorrowful, gentle or confrontational – often comic or absurd too. Bausch’s unique ensemble, rich with strong individual personalities, and many who have been with the company since its early beginnings, continue to maintain these values.

For the first time after four decades, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch returns to Singapore with one of Bausch’s most beautiful works. Created in 1982, the whimsical and nostalgic Nelken (Carnations) is a poetic excursion through a waking dream, set to music by Gershwin, Armstrong, and Schubert, among others. A meadow teeming with pink carnations stretches as far as the eyes can see. There, a series of stories unfolds, each replete with humour and childlike playfulness yet weighed by a sense of melancholy as the narratives meander through the dark battlefields of power and control.

“She showed us another way to overcome our fears and to not feel imprisoned in our bodies any more. She conveyed a concept of freedom…to discover the hidden language in ourselves” Wim Wenders, filmmaker

About Pina Bausch

Bausch received her dance training at the Folkwang School in Essen under Kurt Jooss, where she achieved technical excellence. Her works echo her early German expressionist roots: to explore the potential of the stage and lay bare the depth of human emotion. As director of Tanztheater Wuppertal, Bausch created over 40 productions. In her works, dance became a confrontation with behaviour and bodily presentation that addressed life itself, rather than an imitation created from the distance of an intermediary technique. A major influence on the development of performance, she opened doors to new creative processes. Bausch is largely credited as the first choreographer to work with a dramaturg, and to break boundaries between forms; such as with text and movement, character and performer. Awarded some of the greatest prizes and honours world-wide, Pina Bausch is one of the most significant choreographers of our time.

About da:ns festival

To all dance lovers and those curious, Esplanade’s da:ns festival invites you to fall in love with dance through a full-hearted celebration of movement this October. With powerful performances from around the world, exciting new creations and a wide range of opportunities to learn different kinds of dance, this 11-day festival will open your mind, lift your spirit and get your body moving.

Things To Note

General Advisory

For information about late seating, house rules, photography and more, please refer to our general advisory.