The project looked at the movement and stage studies Oskar Schlemmer developed as director of the stage workshop of the Bauhaus Dessau. The name Schlemmer gave to these works, which were created from 1926–29 with students and guest dancers, was Bauhaustänze (Bauhaus Dances).
These dances manifest an approach to a spatially orientated movement art beyond ballet and Ausdruckstanz (expressionist dance) that has largely been forgotten today. They are also seen as being part of the pre-history of performance and action art, as well as conceptual dance.
With Dancing Bauhaus (German title Bauhaus tanzen) the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation initiated a choreographic and scenographic re-interpretation of Schlemmer’s works.
Whereas earlier reconstructions generally attempted to ‘perfect’ Schlemmer’s fragmentary studies, the Dancing Bauhaus project, under the direction of Prof. Ingo Reulecke, focused on the research-based, improvisational, playful and pedagogic character of the Bauhaus Dances in order to generate further developments within a contemporary context.
Dancers and choreographers from the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau and the Inter-university Center for Dance (HZT) Berlin, as well as scenographers from the TU Berlin, looked into the Bauhaus Dances in a further training programme that focused on choreography and dance history, and, inspired by historic images, films and texts, created their own interpretations.
In the continuous installation performance paper-traced, the public was invited to walk through the space and to interact with the landscape of soft, white paper that is subject to the laws of gravity. The landscape constantly changed thanks to movement. At a certain point, it gradually became a person’s
costume, which then blocked the space. Based on Bauhaus performance principles, paper-traced attempted to use a particular material to link space, movement and the body. It created new audio-visual atmospheres as well as unreal forms of space and human existence.
Choreography and performance – Polyxeni Angelidou
Scenography – Shahrzad Rahmani and Cecilia Tselepidi