Triadic Ballet (engl.)

bauhaus theatre –
giving modernity its body

The Triadic Ballet is a turning point in European theatre history. It was the catastrophe of the First World War that gave rise to a new image of the body. Painter and Bauhaus-Artist Oskar Schlemmer formulated the modern body image in eighteen costumes for his stage experiment called „Das Triadische Ballett“. It premièred in Stuttgart in 1922. The influence of the short performance was enormous. The Bauhaus movement took up its impulses, as especially did Fritz Lang for his film „Metropolis“. Indeed Oskar Schlemmer formulated the visual understanding of the body for the epoch of modernity: fragmented, reduced, expanded. Though in the Triadic Ballet, the „Kunstfigur“ entered the stage, never to leave it again.

One hundred years after its premiere, the Bauhaus theatre production can now be seen in a version for string marionettes as planned by Oskar Schlemmer. The eighteen costume figures were designed as marionettes by puppet designers Marianne and Kurt Erbe. In a production by Christian Fuchs, they show the original colours from the Bauhaus period.

For this production with marionettes, it was at least possible to reconstruct the lost music of the première. The pianist and particularly two-time Bach Prize winner Ragna Schirmer interprets the compositions by Mozart, Haydn, Handel and others, which Oskar Schlemmer compiled as the musical basis for the dances.

During the course of the performance we enriched the main part of 12 dances by preludes thereby following suggestions Oskar Schlemmer noted in his diary.

On the occasion of the Mozartfest Würzburg 2023, Bayerischer Rundfunk has produced a documentation of the marionette dances:
Vision vom künstlichen Menschen | BR-KLASSIK | Bayerischer Rundfunk
(Duration 48 minutes)

Film Triadisches Ballett des Bayerischen Rundfunks

The 18 marionettes

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Further informations (in german):
Marionettes of the triadic ballet
Original costumes by Oskar Schlemmer
Music of the triadic ballet

TRIADIC BALLET – bauhaus theatre
by Oskar Schlemmer

Piano: Ragna Schirmer
Production: Christian Fuchs
Puppet construction: Marianne und Kurt Erbe
Puppeteers: Emma Teichert, Christian Fuchs, Johann Boehncke
Dramaturgy: Andreas Hillger

Duration: 1 hour, no interval

Next performances:
21 March 2024, Berlin, Bayerische Landesvertretung
23 June 2024, Würzburg, Mozartfest 2024

technical rider

contact information

Performance pictures (open in new tab with right hand click for full size and download)