Pina Bausch’s Aggressive Tenderness: Repurposing Theater through Dance maps Bausch’s pieces alongside methodologies of key theater and film practitioners.

This book includes discussion of a variety of Bausch pieces, including Sacre du Printemps (Rite of Spring 1975), Kontakthof (Meeting Place 1978), Café Müller (Café Mueller 1978), Nelken (Carnations 1982), Arien (Arias 1985), and Vollmond (Full Moon 2006). Beginning with her approach as one avenue of dance dramaturgy, the author connects the content expressed in these pieces with theoretical conversations, works from other artists inspired by Bausch, and her own experiences, providing an examination that is both academic and personally insightful. Arendell reads all of these theatrical and film approaches into Bausch’s work to highlight how the time frame involves a cross-pollination between Bausch and the other artists that looks both backward and forward in its influences.

Ideal for students of dance and theater, Pina Bausch’s Aggressive Tenderness shows how Bausch’s Tanztheater speaks a kinaesthetic language, one that Arendell translates into a somaesthetic exploration to pair a repurposed body ethic with movements that present new forms of embodiment.

chapter |18 pages


Tell me a story

chapter 1|8 pages

Dance dramaturgy

chapter 2|8 pages


chapter 3|15 pages


chapter 4|8 pages

Poor dance theater

chapter 5|11 pages

Dance theater of cruelty

chapter 6|11 pages

Dramaturgy for empty spaces

chapter 7|5 pages

Viewpoints as a point of view

chapter 8|8 pages

Extended moments in repetition

chapter 9|17 pages

Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost

chapter 10|12 pages

From Jooss to Bausch and beyond

What gesture forgives

chapter Appendix A|4 pages

Interview with Bausch dancer Julie Shanahan