Visionary & visual feast

by • 03/01/2014 • Blog, Les ImponderablesComments (0)1889 Torres

Bauhaus climax & visionary feast.­­_____________________________________________________________________________________________

During the Interbellum, an interwar period in which Europe struggled to recover from the First World War and horse & carriage were still the main mode of transport, Oskar Schlemmer (a German painter, sculptor, designer and choreographer associated with the Bauhaus school) turned an innovative idea into a climax in abstract dance, The Triadic Ballet. The premiere of this visionary performance took place in 1922.

As a forebearer of Perfomance Art, Schlemmer turned to choreography because of his concern for the relationships of figures in space, while approaching the human body as a medium for artistic expression. He combined elements of painting with those of theatre, seeing the man as a performer that is transformed by a costume while moving in space.


photo: Frans Schouwenburg

The piece is unique in its vision. Odd figures appear, one as a marionette without strings, another one in an armless suit or a tutu made of wires. Costumes are shaped as spheres, cones, bubbles, resembling saucers and seashells and deliberately limiting the freedom of movement. The dancers clumsily walk and dance around like architectural structures.


photo: Frans Schouwenburg

The storyline is minimal and clearly structured in 3 acts (the principle of the trinity): 3 participants, 12 dances and 18 costumes. Every act has a different color and mood: the first is yellow (happy mood), the second is pink (celebration), and the third color is black (mystical).


photo found on of the original cast in 1922.

The mechanized and creative forces, the two main currents that drive the modern world according to Schlemmer, grind against each other in a performance that up to this day is a visionary feast for the eye (and imagination).

The videos are a reconstruction of the Triadic Ballet by Margarete Hastings (1970). Music by Erich Ferstl.

Part 1: Yellow


Part 2: Pink


Part 3: Black


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