Triadisches Ballett | Oskar Schlemmer, 1921 – 29

Triadisches Ballett | Oskar Schlemmer, 1921 - 29

Triadisches Ballett (Triadic Ballet) is a ballet developed by Oskar Schlemmer. It premiered in Stuttgart, on 30 September 1922, with music composed  by Paul Hindemith. The ballet became the most widely performed avant-garde artistic dance and while Schlemmer was at the Bauhaus from 1921 to 1929,
the ballet toured, helping to spread the ethos of the Bauhaus.

triadic ballet
Oskar Schlemmer / Triadic Ballet, 1924

   The idea of the ballet was based on the principle of the trinity. It has 3 acts, 3 participants (2 male, 1 female), 12 dances and 18 costumes. Each act had a different colour and mood. The first three scenes, against a lemon yellow background to affect a cheerful, burlesque mood; the two middle scenes, on a pink stage, festive and solemn and the final three scenes, on black, were intended to be mystical and fantastic.
He saw the movement of puppets and marionettes as aesthetically superior to that of humans, as it emphasised that the medium of every art is artificial. This artifice could be expressed through stylised movements and the abstraction of the human body. His consideration of the human form (the abstract geometry of the body e.g. a cylinder for the neck, a circle for head and eyes) led to the all important costume design, to create what he called his ‘figurine’. The music followed and finally the dance movements were decided.
Schlemmer saw the modern world driven by two main currents, the mechanised (man as machine and the body as a mechanism) and the primordial impulses (the depths of creative urges). He claimed that the choreographed geometry of dance offered a synthesis, the Dionysian and emotional origins of dance, becomes strict and Apollonian in its final form.

Reconstruction of Triadic Ballet made ​​by Margarete Hastings in 1970:

“If today’s arts love the machine, technology and organization, if they aspire to precision and reject anything vague and dreamy, this implies an instinctive repudiation of Chaos and a longing to find the form appropriate to our times.”

Oskar Schlemmer,  April 1926

Erich Consemüller: Oskar Schlemmer, Werner Siedhoff, and Walter Kaminskii, 1925. Costumes by Kazimir Malevich
Oskar Schelmmer costumes for the Triadic Ballet, 1922
Oskar Schlemmer, Triadic Ballet, 1924                Oskar Schlemmer, Poster for the Triadisches Ballett, 1924

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