Dancing to a Different Design
The dancers move in a robotically precise yet fluidly graceful style. Their geometrically abstract costumes are retrospectively futuristic. The space in which the dance is performed is two-dimensional and saturated in fluorescent, neon color.
In the two dozen or so film clips of the performance available on YouTube, it looks like a gaudy pop video from the earliest days of MTV—although it was, in fact, filmed a decade earlier in 1970. Even more remarkable is the fact that it was first performed nearly 100 years ago.
Everybody Dance Now
The “daringly weird and strangely mesmerizing” Triadisches Ballett (Triadic Ballet), created by Oskar Schlemmer, premiered in September 1922 in Stuttgart, Germany, and is one of the more singular products of the Bauhaus school of design, which celebrates its centenary this year—founded on April 1, 1919 by the modernist architect, Walter Gropius.
Even if dance is not your thing, the way in which Schlemmer created the Triadic Ballet is a startling example of how the Bauhaus school radically reconfigured the practice of art and design in the 20th century to produce innovations in architecture, textiles, furniture, homeware, typography, urban design—and even ballet.
Today, its radical legacy is a part of our everyday lives. Its imprint is everywhere, even in how the functionality of the device on which you
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