terça-feira, 16 de julho de 2013

Das Triadische Ballet

           "Schlemmer (1888-1943), a German artist associated with the influential art school known as the Bauhaus, turned to choreography because of his concern for the relationships of figures in space. Some of his Bauhaus dances have recently been reconstructed in New York by Debra McCall, a dance historian. But the 75-minute ''Triadic Ballet'' is the most elaborate work by Schlemmer ever to be staged here.

               His costumes, emphasizing such shapes as cones, tubes, hoops and spheres, have been lovingly restored by Ulrike Dietrich. And what astonishing costumes they are! One woman wears a bubble. A man appears to be a marionette without strings. Another man seems to have a snowbank attached to him. The heads of two others peer out from enormous golden balls.Unfortunately, Schlemmer's choreography for these figures was forgotten long ago and any new production must be based upon research and intuition. The present version, by the West German choreographer Gerhard Bohner, dates from 1977. At least two other attempts to reconstruct parts of the work have also been made in the past 20 years.

                 Although Schlemmer conceived of his piece in terms of threes as a ballet in three scenes for three dancers in a multitude of costumes, this version employs five dancers (Colleen Scott, Gislinde Skroblin, Peter Jolesch, Ivan Liska and Mr. Bohner). Yet Mr. Bohner remains faithful to Schlemmer by never having more than three people on stage at once.
             Some photographs from the 20's show dancers on point in productions of ''The Triadic Ballet,'' and the women's costumes are variants upon traditional tutus - only these tutus also recall saucers and seashells. Perhaps because of Schlemmer's balletic references, Mr. Bohner's reconstruction is essentially balletic in its technical vocabulary.
           But it is seldom compelling. Mr. Bohner always manages to get his bizarre personages moving. Then he falters and is often at a loss about what to have them do next. Therefore, although the first sight of each set of costumes amazes, interest may flag until the next set of costumes is introduced.

        Conceivably, the original production may have had similar problems, for Schlemmer first created the costumes, then invented movements for them. But, at least, choreography and costumes derived from the same sensibility, whereas Mr. Bohner, faced with an existing set of designs, was virtually forced to try to read Schlemmer's mind to figure out what to do with them.

           The choice of accompaniment did not help matters. Schlemmer set his 1922 production to a musical potpourri and a later revival to a score by Paul Hindemith, of which only eight minutes now survive. The current version, danced to a tape, uses new music by Hans-Joachim Hespos, with a passacaglia by Handel as a finale. To these ears, Mr. Hespos's score merely ground away without possessing the rhythmic vitality that might help enliven the staging.

         Nevertheless, ''The Triadic Ballet'' is a serious effort and, despite dull spots, it is full of wonders. Where else can one behold a woman emerging from a spiral or a man whose arms resemble Christmas tree ornaments?"
A film in three parts after Oskar Schlemmer's dances.


Triadicsches Ballet Kostüm und der für 
David Bowie entworfene Sprunanzug, designed von
 Kansai Yamamoto, im Vergleich



Book and Choreography: Margarete Hasting, Franz Schömbs, Georg Verden.
Rehearsal: Hannes Winkler.
Reconstruction of the costumes: Margit Bárdy.
Art Consulting: Ludwig Grote, Xanti Schawinsky, Tut Schlemmer.
Dancers: Edith Demharter, Ralph Smolik, Hannes Winkler.
Music: Erich Ferstl.
Camera: Kurt Gewissen.
Cut: Johannes Nickel.
Production Director: Helmut Amann.
Production: Gottfried Just.

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