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Press Release: Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch Kontakthof at Sadler's Wells

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Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch
Sadler’s Wells Theatre, EC1R 4TN
Thursday 3 – Sunday 6 February 2022     
Tickets: £15 - £75 
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.sadlerswells.com




Originally premiered in 1978, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch present Pina Bausch’s powerful seminal work Kontakthof at Sadler’s Wells on Thursday 3 – Sunday 6 February 2022. It evokes longing and misguided desires. The piece is brought to life by a group of dancers, playing out first encounters, courtship and uncertain romance.


One of the most important pieces in Pina Bausch’s repertoire, Kontakthof was created when she was establishing her place in the world of dance. Seen in a new light following conversations during the pandemic surrounding social issues such as sexism, racism and cultural appropriation, Kontakthof is more poignant than ever. During the pandemic the company took time as an ensemble to discuss these important social issues which affect their daily work, to gain new insights into certain scenes.

Kontakthof displays power struggles that are present beneath the surface. The desire for love, appreciation and equality, the need to be seen and the futile hope that the other person can fulfil one’s uncommunicated wishes. This is a constant battle that plays out in the rituals of the Kontakthof.


Bettina Wagner-Bergelt, Artistic Director of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, said: “London has - like Paris – become a second home for Tanztheater over the years. We love Sadler’s Wells and its audiences and we are ever so happy to finally go and perform there again in February. Kontakthof is the perfect piece to be taken to that exceptional theatre with its many performers, from old to young – it is a serious, ambiguous and breathtaking piece from the very early times, the seventies, when Pina Bausch had just started her career in Wuppertal creating some of her everlasting masterpieces.”


Sir Alistair Spalding CBE, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, said: “It is an honour to welcome Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, one of our International Associate Companies, back to the Sadler’s Wells stage. As with all of Pina’s work This work is as relevant today as it was when it premiered in 1978, a delightful study of the rules of attraction and courtship.”

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch is a Sadler’s Wells International Associate Company 


Listings Information

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch
Sadler’s Wells Theatre, EC1R 4TN 
Performances: Thursday 3 – Saturday 5 Febraury 7 pm & Sunday 6 February 2022 4 pm 
Tickets: £15 - £75
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.sadlerswells.com 

Image Credit: Reiner Pfisterer

About Sadler’s Wells
Sadler's Wells is a world-leading dance organisation. We strive to make and share dance that inspires us all. Our acclaimed year-round programme spans dance of every kind, from contemporary to flamenco, Bollywood to ballet, salsa to street dance and tango to tap.

We commission, produce and present more dance than any other organisation in the world. Since 2005, we have helped to bring close to 200 new dance works to the stage, embracing both the popular and the unknown.


Each year, over half a million people visit our three London theatres - Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Lilian Baylis Studio and Peacock Theatre. Millions more attend our touring productions nationally and internationally or explore our digital platforms, including Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage. In 2023 we’re opening a fourth London venue in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Sadler’s Wells East will house a 550-seat mid-scale theatre, as well as facilities for the Choreographic School and Hip Hop Theatre Academy. 


Supporting artists is at the heart of our work. We have associate artists and companies, which nurture some of the most exciting talent working in dance today. We host the National Youth Dance Company, which draws together some of the brightest young dancers from across the country. Sadler’s Wells Breakin' Convention runs professional development programmes to champion and develop the world’s best hip hop artists, as well as producing, programming and touring groundbreaking hip hop performances. 


Around 30,000 people take part in our learning and engagement programmes every year. We support schools local to our theatres in Islington and Stratford, designing experiences for children and young people to watch, explore and critically engage with the arts. We also run Company of Elders, a resident performance company of dancers aged over 60 who rehearse with renowned artists to make new work for public performances locally, nationally and internationally.


Sadler’s Wells is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. 



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About Pina Bausch and Tanztheater Wuppertal 
Pina Bausch, was born 1940 in Solingen and died 2009 in Wuppertal. She received her dance training at the Folkwang School in Essen under Kurt Jooss, where she achieved technical excellence. Soon after the director of Wuppertal’s theatres, Arno Wüstenhöfer, engaged her as choreographer, from autumn 1973, she renamed the ensemble the Tanztheater Wuppertal. Under this name, although controversial at the beginning, the company gradually achieved international recognition. Its combination of poetic and everyday elements influenced the international development of dance decisively. Awarded some of the greatest prizes and honours world-wide, Pina Bausch is one of the most significant choreographers of our time.

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