'A party in form and colour' / Oskar Schlemmer's Triadic Ballet

Possibly the strangest and most inspiring work of art we have come across recently. 

'The Triadic Ballet', created in 1922, is an awesome avant-garde exploration of form, colour and space  through the human body, which pushed the boundaries of dance and theatre into the modern age. Oskar Schlemmer, a German artist and sculptor associated with the Bauhaus, was interested in theatre as a form of expression and through his works explored how to break through their rigid boundaries. Schlemmer reduces the human figure into basic geometric shapes and created abstract costumes consisting of spheres, cones, pyramids and hoops, which dance in front of coloured back drops of playful yellow, ceremonial pink and mystical black.

 Still from the 3rd sequence, 3rd act of the  Triadic Ballet .

Still from the 3rd sequence, 3rd act of the Triadic Ballet.

The ballet toured all over Germany in the 1920s, spreading the bauhaus philosophy across the nation. Though no recordings of the actual ballet exist, a 30 minute reproduction was created in 1970 and can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHQmnumnNgo 

We are especially intrigued by the fantastical costumes (anyone else feeling hungry after watching the video?) and Schlemmer's simple yet humorous ingenuity.  

'My themes – the human figure in space, its moving and stationary functions, sitting, lying, walking, standing – are as simple as they are universally valid,’ he once said of his work. ‘They are inexhaustible’. Oskar Schlemmer

 Sketch of two figures, yellow sequence act 2 for the Triadic Ballet, c.1919.

Sketch of two figures, yellow sequence act 2 for the Triadic Ballet, c.1919.

 Sequence breakdown drawing of the  Triadic Ballet  by Oskar Schlemmer.

Sequence breakdown drawing of the Triadic Ballet by Oskar Schlemmer.

 Model from the  Triadic Ballet , black sequence, 1920-22

Model from the Triadic Ballet, black sequence, 1920-22

 Model from the  Triadic Ballet , black sequence, 1920-22

Model from the Triadic Ballet, black sequence, 1920-22

 Costume for the  Triadic Ballet , Bauhaus, Germany c.1922.

Costume for the Triadic Ballet, Bauhaus, Germany c.1922.