Watch Dance Meet Geometry in This 1920s German Ballet

Ballerinas go Bauhaus.

The Bauhaus School, a prominent German art school that operated through the early decades of the 20th century, was associated with many famous works of art, but one that has flown under the radar is The Triadic Ballet.

An avant-garde performance that combines aspects of both dance and geometry, the ballet was created by lauded artist Oskar Schlemmer, and it looks very unlike any typical dance routine.

In one particular scene, two dancers come together in the middle of a lined area. They both wear strangely lined outfits that are intentionally designed to showcase the appearance of a geometric body. With slow deliberate movements around the lines, you can be forgiven for assuming the piece involves robots or some form of animatronics!

This was all part of Schlemmer’s creation, however, as he was fixated on the idea of breaking boundaries in art, and in this case, he used choreographed geometry to create a new style of dancing that was unlike anything that had preceded it.

The performance is certainly unique, with the choreographed routines and strangely garbed dancers making for a visually striking, if rather creepy, ballet. Unfortunately, the original ballet only ran from 1922 to 1929, coming to an abrupt end due to the global stock market crash of the time, before being labeled part of the ‘Degenerate Art’ by the Nazi Party.

Since then, attempts at recreating The Triadic Ballet have been made, such as the 1970s-version seen in the videos. Take a look at a short routine from the ballet, or even catch the full performance!

> atlasobscura