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Oskar Schlemmer’s 130th Birthday

Oskar Schlemmer’s 130th Birthday - Youth Apps

Bulbous mechanical creatures wearing metallic masks are not the usual image that comes to mind when one thinks of ballet. But that’s precisely what Oskar Schlemmer used to stage his ‘Triadic Ballet,’ a groundbreaking production that premiered in Stuttgart, Germany in 1922. With three dancers, 12 movements, and 18 costumes, Schlemmer’s innovative approach to ballet broke with all convention to explore the relationship between body and space in new and exciting ways. He described the performance as “‘artistic metaphysical mathematics,” and a “party in form and colour.”

Born on this day in 1888, Schlemmer was the youngest of six children who attended art school before traveling to in Weimar, Germany to join Walter Gropius’s avant-garde Bauhaus, where he became director of stage research and production. Schlemmer also experimented with painting, sculpture, but it was his creative theater designs that are most remembered, influencing future artists like David Bowie.

He once described the themes of his work: “the human figure in space, its moving and stationary functions, sitting, lying, walking, standing” as being “as simple as they are universally valid.”

Happy Birthday Oskar Schlemmer!