{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet


Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet of the 1920s is one of the more famous products of the Bauhaus movement, a radical reinvention of the medium which encased the dancers in cumbersome costumes. The outfits and stage designs are familiar from Bauhaus histories but you’re less likely to see an actual performance, something that’s possible with this 30-minute film made in 1970. The ballet is in three acts: yellow, pink and black. Erich Ferstl wrote the music for the filmed reconstruction by Margarete Hasting, the original score by Paul Hindemith being lost.

The ballet has additional interest for me in having influenced part of the Reverbstorm book. Oskar Schlemmer’s Bauhaus logo is reworked in the opening and closing pages together with other Bauhaus-derived graphics, but I also looked at Schlemmer’s ballet costumes when I was planning the final section which required a stylised transformation of Lord Horror. In the end I used a sketch by one of Schlemmer’s pupils, Klaus Barthelmess, for the Horror figure but the Barthelmess drawing was also of a dancer, and is very similar to some of Schlemmer’s designs, especially the silver-headed robot-like figures that appear in the black section of the ballet.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Reverbstorm: Bauhaus Horror



Posted in {comics}, {dance}, {design}, {film}, {work}.

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4 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Thombeau


    One of my favorite things, for all sorts of reasons!

  2. #2 posted by John


    I never would have guessed. (Ha!) I bet Klaus Nomi liked these costumes.

  3. #3 posted by Iain


    My immediate thought (wihtou having a chance to yet view the ballet video) is that the video for New Order’s “True Faith” appears to draw some inspiration from this … Not a connection I have seen highlighted previously.

  4. #4 posted by John


    That’s a good point, something that didn’t occur to me. According to the choreographer of the New Order video, Philippe Decouflé, Schlemmer’s ballet was “a revelation”:







“feed your head”