100 Years of Bauhaus Two Bauhaus Dances / Pictures at an Exhibition
The Bauhaus dances, "Stick Dance" and "Hoop Dance", both produced in 1928 for the Bauhaus Theatre repertoire, are part of Oskar Schlemmer's identified numbers as "material dances", in which a specific material and its scenic possibilities were topicalized out. In the "Stick Dance" wooden sticks are fixed to the chest, arms and legs, and are enlarged and made visible by the mechanics of the joints. Using simple wooden hoops the "Hoop Dance" shows how possibilities for dance actions and shaping the space can be gained from a specific material and the form variations derived from it. (Dirk Scheper)
For the 1974 reconstruction Gerhard Bohner was able to use records by Oskar Schlemmer, which document poses and simple movements, between which he created connections, limited only by costume and props. While Bohner still used contemporary music for the first performances, he later went back to the composition created by Schlemmer and the Bauhaus student Alfred Ehrhardt.
The Catalan dancer and choreographer Cesc Gelabert has developed a reconstruction of both dances for the opening festival. Gelabert worked intensively with the Bauhaus tradition and has already very successfully staged Bohner's solo works "Schwarz Weiss Zeigen" and "Im (Goldenen) Schnitt" I and II around the world.
"We know from classical ballet that, despite a careful reconstruction, a new arrangement is entirely different from the choreography of the time of origin. So I think that's how it also is now with the Bauhaus dances." Gerhard Bohner
Music: Oskar Schlemmer
Piano: Holger Groschopp
Choreography: Gerhard Bohner with records from Oskar Schlemmer
Reconstruction and dance: Cesc Gelabert
Research and management: Norbert Stück
Pictures at an Exhibition
Wassily Kandinsky, Modest Mussorgsky
an education project, Teatro Nuovo
Giovanni da Udine
"Pictures at an Exhibition" with music by Modest Mussorgsky celebrated its world première on 4 April 1928 at the Friedrich-Theater Dessau in a matinee. Wassily Kandinsky consequently realised his idea of the "abstract stage synthesis" for the one and only time as director and stage designer in a theatre performance. With this term he united the ideas of the basic "translatability" of different arts, whose devices such as sound, colour, text and movement do actually differ formally on the outside, but are identical on the inside, where perception and art begin. Kandinsky does without any external treatment. People are not the main protagonists – the colourful surfaces and plastic shapes that build up in the sound of the music and in the interaction of the colourful light into images and then dissolve again into nothingness are.
Kandinsky's theatre utopia found fertile ground in the Bauhaus. Examining and researching artistic means for the theatre and the theatre space are everything, and the Bauhaus theatre is the interdisciplinary experimental field. Among other things the "mechanical stage" is tried out in different variants. Light, sound and movement of stage elements and objects are the main protagonists.
Fifty-five years later in 1983 as part of the 33rd Berliner Festspiele a reconstruction of the piece was developed and performed by students of the costume class at the University of the Arts Berlin under the direction of Martin Rupprecht and Horst Birr. Kandinsky's sketches, an interview with Felix Klee, the assistant director of the world première, and a piano score, in which direction instructions on image and light changes are noted, provided the basis. For twenty years this production was shown time and again on tours together with Oskar Schlemmer's Bauhaus dances in the reconstruction by Gerhard Bohner.
In 2003 the baton was passed on to the Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine, which continues the Berlin reconstruction as an education project with young people from Udine.
The version shown in the opening festival is brought to us by a Berlin crew with pianist Holger Groschopp, the students from Udine and once again by Horst Birr, who also played a leading role back in 1983.
Piano: Holger Groschopp
Direction, production management: Horst Birr, Stefano Laudato
Light: Frank Kwiatkowski
Painting: Martin Dostal
Production assistant: Daniela Bürgin
Players: students of Instituto Tecnico Industriale „Arturo Malignani" with the Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine
World premiere 1928, Reconstrucion 1983/2019
A project by 100 jahre bauhaus. Das Eröffnungsfestival, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine, Universität der Künste, Berlin; Change Performing Arts Franco Laera, Milan, and Spoleto Festival 2019, Spoleto, Italy.
A guest performance of the Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine, Italy as part of an education project.
With special thanks to Nele Hertling, Horst Birr and Stefano Laudato, with friendly support by the CECCARELLI GROUP (Transport).