Oskar Schlemmer, Triadic Ballet Costumes from the Revue Wieder Metropol (1926)
Oskar Schlemmer’s (1888-1943) diverse responsibilities at the Bauhaus reflect his versatility as an artist. At various times he was in charge of the murals workshop, the stone sculpture workshop, and the wood sculpture workshop. In addition, he took over the Bauhaus theater group in 1923, and, after the school’s move to Dessau, he directed the Bauhaus stage. This photograph shows costumed dancers in Schlemmer’s “Triadic Ballet,” an experimental ballet that, among other objectives, explored the body’s spatial relationship to its architectural surroundings. The name refers to its organizing principle, which was based on multiples of three. The ballet was composed of 3 acts, 3 participants (2 male, 1 female), 12 dances, and 18 costumes. It was first staged in Stuttgart in 1922 and became the most widely performed avant-garde ballet of its time.