Palermo Palermo breaking down barriers one brick at a time !

Tanztheater Wuppertal, one of the most important contemporary dance companies in the world, once directed by the great Pina Bausch, returns to Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier of La Place des Arts with Palermo Palermo – running February 23-25, eight years after its first appearance at Danse Danse.

The company’s production of Palermo Palermo, a pivotal piece in its repertoire, continues to resonate with audiences with its exploration of love, fear, and violence.


Palermo Palermo is one of a long series of danced portraits of cities choreographed by the late Pina Bausch.

In 1989, shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German choreographer, then in residence in Palermo, imagined a collapsing brick wall, a metaphor for “the invisible walls that exist everywhere in the world, inside our heads.


Some might say that the piece is premonitory, It combines several elements to contemporary dance such as speech, poetry, acting and singing, as well as including surprising props, such as 6 pianists simultaneously performing Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto No. 1, pyrotechnics and even a star canine : Scott the dog (photo below ) who has recently appeared in a few movies!

Scott the star dog !


The production features 23 performers who take the audience on a journey through space and time, to Palermo in the 1980s.

The dancers’ raw emotion and physicality, combined with the use of props and set design, including a towering wall of bricks , old suitcases and television sets, heighten the sense of dislocation and alienation.


Palermo Palermo’s sound design: a mix of operatic arias, pop songs, and ambient noise, adds to the immersive experience.

Lighting design is used effectively to create different moods and atmospheres, further drawing the audience into the world of Palermo Palermo.

The production’s exploration of place and time, combined with its powerful storytelling and stunning visuals, make Palermo Palermo a must-see for fans of contemporary dance.

Two Canadian dancers, Emma Barrowman and Taylor Drury, are among the talented ensemble cast of performers.

Canadian dancer Emma Barrowman in Palermo Palermo

Overall, Tanztheater Wuppertal’s commitment to preserving Pina Bausch’s legacy is evident in this production, which continues to captivate audiences with its mastery of contemporary dance theater.

With its combination of dance, theater and striking “cinematographic” visuals, Palermo Palermo is a tour-de-force of contemporary dance that showcases the immense talent of Tanztheater Wuppertal’s performers.

About Danse Danse

Danse Danse, an associate presenter at Montreal’s Place des Arts, invites you to discover the best of contemporary dance from here and abroad in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles.

Since its foundation in 1998, Danse Danse has offered a diversified program, rooted in the 21 stcentury, of new creations and landmark works from the contemporary repertoire.

Danse Danse proudly contributes to the international outreach of Montreal, capital of dance and metropolis of movement.


Palermo Palermo

Pina Bausch

FEB 23. 24. 25, 2023 / 8:00 p.m.


Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts