Nelken blooms in Paris.
Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris – May 12, 2015
When Nelken, choreographed by Pina Bausch, premiered in Wuppertal, Germany, in 1982, its scenes depicting a person of authority inspecting the passports of passersby resonated quite pertinently. More than thirty years later, it continues to strike chords for its poignant portrayals of oppression.
Like much of Bausch’s works, Nelken lifts situations from the anchors of time and place to express the essence of human nature. By the end of the performance, the dancers have trampled through the carnations as they have through our lives – the mess of blooms now bent and strewn on the stage like the barrage of questions we now ask about ourselves.