German choreographer Pina Bausch is the "Queen of European dance theater," according to the Times of London, which ought to know. Her ongoing series of pieces for her company, the Tanztheater Wuppertal, are based on different parts of the world the projects typically begin with research trips to various locales and end in esoteric creations. A stay in Los Angeles in the mid-1990s inspired Nur Du (Only You), a string of visual one-liners about everything from Hollywood movies to sushi takeout containers, set against an imposing environment of massive redwood tree trunks. In Viktor, Bausch's take on Rome, a female dancer famously pounds a steak before stuffing it along with her foot into a toe shoe and performing bourrées. Other geographically based projects include Der Fensterputzer (The Window Washer) and Masurca Fogo, inspired by Hong Kong and Lisbon, respectively, as well as the self-explanatory Palermo, Palermo, Madrid's Tanzabend II (Dance Evening 2), and Ein Trauerspiel (A Tragedy), influenced by a stay in Vienna. For her latest appearance in Berkeley, Bausch and her dancers perform Ten Chi, a work based on the company's 2004 sojourn in Japan. The performance explores the paradoxes of contemporary life on a stage covered with cherry blossoms and giant whale fins. Bausch's staging also features texts by writers including Bertolt Brecht and Georg Büchner, and music by the avant-garde Romanian string quartet Balanescu and British prog-rock musician Robert Wyatt, among others.
Nov. 16-18, 8 p.m., 2007