"Don't forget: my name is Regina. Re-gi-na", says Regina Advento, provocatively leaning into the audience. Curiously, in this make-believe domain, it's her real name. We pay attention.
This request for remembrance is poignant given that Pina Bausch, the influential author of this eloquent, beautiful, timeless work, died in 2009. Sweet Mambo, one of her final pieces, was finished a year earlier. But despite her physical absence at this, its UK premiere, she is here, in the eyes, voices and hearts of the Tanztheater Wuppertal players, who are still sculpting her sharp honesty and genius for scouring the secrets of human relationships.
As we climb aboard this Bauschian soul train of love, we are whirled through a promenade of sketches built around the individual characters of each dancer, especially the women. Draped in Marion Cito's full-length thin satin gowns – which initially suggest glamour but are actually powerful props, like shields or comforters; they are slipped off suggestively, then shrugged back on protectively – this magnificent seven criss-cross before us, joking, screaming, running, pointing, cartwheeling, sleeping and drinking champagne.
Theirs is a dream world, designed by Bausch's longtime collaborator Peter Pabst: a simple architecture of tall white drapes that can be swept up and puffed up into a silken cave to house a crouching dancer, or used to screen giant close-ups clipped from romantic black-and white-vintage film. From this heavenly place, the ensemble send signals from the frontline of their psyches about what it feels like to live in female skin.
In contrast, the three men, dressed in black, provide background support. They are swatted away, sat on or told to "go take a shower". A couple of solos in the second half affectionately allow them a voice, but mostly they are used as counterpoint, and for physical support – as a chair, a sofa or a prop shifter.
Accompanied by an unpretentious, seamless playlist (from Portishead to Nina Simone, 18 compositions in all) Sweet Mambo flourishes as a joyous display of artistic exuberance. Male and female dancers alike relish the expansive arms, the expressive hands and poetic gestures. It is their love letter to Bausch. Exquisite.
• Ends 25 August. Box office: 0131-473 2000. Venue: Playhouse, Edinburgh
• The sound of Pina Bausch: how she chose her music