Triadic Ballet

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Oskar Schlemmer (1888—1943)


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Modern dance by Oskar Schlemmer. Premiered 30 Sept. 1922 at the Landes Theater in Stuttgart, with Schlemmer, Albert Burger, and Elsa Hötzel. Schlemmer, one of the pioneers of the Bauhaus movement, used the piece to explore the relationship between the moving body and abstract space. It was prefigured by earlier productions in 1911 and 1916. The work was in three sections, colour-coded yellow, pink, and black to reflect a different mood. It was further subdivided into twelve dances performed by three people (two men, one woman) who between them wore eighteen costumes. These dominated, and in some cases dramatically altered the body shapes of the dancers. Shaped in spirals, triangles, and cones, they were constructed out of padded cloth and papier-maché, and coated with metallic paint. The choreography was simple, consisting mainly of repetitive movements. For subsequent performances Hindemith composed music for a mechanical organ. In 1970 Margarethe Hasting reconstructed Triadic Ballet for German television.

Subjects: Dance.

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