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  • Writer's pictureKevin Maples

Expressionist dance and its lesson for B2B sales

Pina Bausch was a German expressionist dancer and choreographer known for inspiring her dancers to draw from their individual experiences and memories to shape their movements.

Image from Dulac Distribution

In Dancing Pina, a captivating, recent documentary by Florian Heinzen-Ziob and released in France by Dulac Distribution, two dance troupes in Dresden, Germany and Dakar, Senegal rehearse respectfully Iphigenie auf Tauris and Frühlingsopfer. Five of Bausch’s protégés instruct these young dancers to bring themselves to the composition, to embrace their imperfections, and celebrate their differences.

In Germany, a young woman - who was told throughout her early career that she was too tall to ever dance ballet professionally – is encouraged to be as tall as possible in her movements. Choreographer Malou Airaudo demands that she not cede a single millimeter of herself when she dances.

In Senegal, Josephine Ann Endicott instructs men and women from 19 different countries to embrace their past experiences not only from modern and African dance, but also from their personal lives to bring individual expression to the piece. On rehearsal day, Endicott acknowledges that the team learned the movements, but reprimands them for a composition that lacks character. It is now time forget about the choreography and just feel the movements as individuals and collectively the piece will shine.

Image from Dulac Distributions

The final performance on a Senegalese beach with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop is a triumph. I sat through the film’s last 15 minutes spellbound.

I had a recent conversation with a B2B sales representative about what motivates them most in their work. They said their manager. Lately, I would say that this is not a common response. Sales people often mention the close with a customer or their belief in the product or service they are presenting as the key motivator. Intrigued, I asked to hear more. They told me that their manager during coaching sessions always starts with their individual strengths and builds the sales call strategy from there. The result is more confidence and high engagement. A personalized approach for a sales rep? I certainly would love to see more.

If you are in France, I highly encourage you to go see Dancing Pina, still in theatres!

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