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The history of bodies accumulated in a dance company is rendered visible in “Club Amour”. Boris Charmatz, new artistic director of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, presents his creative approach to the company’s dance heritage, his faith in the collective and the power of the body as a medium of memory.

Café Müller / Aatt enen tionon / herses, duo

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch + Terrain Boris Charmatz


“The word ‘repertoire’ begins with the syllable ‘re-’. Repertoire signifies repetition, recursion and return. Cultural memory needs both archives that preserve history in its material form and steady revivals. There can be no living memories without external impulses.”

Marietta Piekenbrock, January 2023

Boris Charmatz, newly appointed artistic director of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, has created “Club Amour”, a composition consisting of three works – “Café Müller” by Pina Bausch and two of his own choreographies. All three touch on topics like desire, sexuality, nudity, intimacy, longing, and failure: In “Aatt enen tionon” (1996), three dancers, who are locked into different rooms of a three-storey scaffolding tower alone and without help, interpret the precise choreography half-naked. “herses, duo” is an excerpt from the piece “herses (une lente introduction)” from 1997 which finds direct expression for “utopian ideas of connection”. In “Café Müller” (1978), a masterpiece by Pina Bausch, Henry Purcell’s “Remember me” can be heard. Here, the symbolic set element of the revolving door symbolises repetition and recurrence.

Pina Bausch came to Wuppertal as director of the city’s municipal ballet company in 1973 and renamed it Tanztheater. Her idea to merge dance and theatre revolutionised the art form and turned her into an icon of a new form of expressionism. She received numerous international awards, her company’s repertoire became world-famous and their works still tour around the world today.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch has shaped the history of dance and in 2023, the company celebrates its 50th anniversary. Since 2022/23, French dancer and choreographer Boris Charmatz (*1973) has taken on this great challenge. As the company’s leader, he is beginning the next chapter of its history. Pina Bausch and Tanztheater Wuppertal as well as Boris Charmatz have repeatedly been presented by Berliner Festspiele.


“In the early filmed versions of Café Müller, it is striking to see desire at work. Bodies seek one another, grope for one another; fingers call out for touch. The life of the theatre intersects with the life of the artists. The roles seem to be carved out of thick human relationships. This made me want to present the play on an evening where love, loves, desire, desires would be the core. I then thought of two plays in ‘my’ repertoire that also touched on these issues. This is a test: to give the dancers from Tanztheater Wuppertal, who have not yet danced these pieces, the opportunity to confront the rough subtlety of ‘Café Müller’, the unrestrained radicality of ‘Aatt enen tionon’, as well as to perform a duet from ‘herses (une lente introduction)’ with bodies tangled with one another in absolute contact. The evening promises to be restless: Purcell meets PJ Harvey, ‘Café Müller’s ageless costumes come together with ‘Aattt enen tionon’s nudity, and all three pieces set Tanztheater Wuppertal 2024 ablaze!”

Boris Charmatz, March 2023


Artistic Team

Club Amour

Conceived by Boris Charmatz

With the ensemble of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch

Café Müller (1978)

Pina Bausch – Staging and choreography

Rolf Borzik – Set and costume design

Marion Cito, Hans Pop – Collaboration

Henry Purcell – Music

Duration 40 min

Aatt enen tionon (1996)

Boris Charmatz – Choreography

Yves Godin – Lighting

Gilles Touyard – Scaffolding

Hubertus Biermann, Olivier Renouf – Sound

PJ Harvey – Sound material

Duration 40 min

herses, duo

Duo from „herses (une lente introduction)“ (1997)

Boris Charmatz – Choreography

Yves Godin – Lighting

Stefan Fraunberger– Music

Duration 15 min

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch + Terrain Boris Charmatz – Production and distribution Club Amour

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Additional information
Under the direction of Boris Charmatz, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch and Terrain are building a Franco-German art project together. Terrain is supported by the Ministère de la Culture – DRAC Hauts-de-France and by the Région Hauts-de-France and is associated with Opéra de Lille, phénix, scène nationale de Valenciennes pôle européen de création and the Maison de la Culture d’Amiens – Pôle européen de création et de production. Tanztheater Wuppertal is supported by the city of Wuppertal and the state of North-Rhine Westphalia.
March 2024