Bauhaus [Performance] – The Turn of the 20th Century

The Bauhaus Theatre were there to seek ‘union of the artistic-ideal with the craftsmanlike-practical by thoroughly investigating the creative elements’, to understand the essence of der Bau and to have a ‘valid application to the field of theatre. The instinct of the Bauhaus Theatre is to call the source of man’s real creative values and to shape and produce without having or needing to ask questions about use or uselessness, sense or nonsense and the good or the bad. This was expressed through exuberant parties, improvisations and imaginative masks and costumes that were made for each performance.
Bauhaus Theatre is often known purely for it’s use of costumes and masks. The grotesque flourished from the legacy of Dadaists to ‘ridicule automatically everything that smacked of solemnity or ethical precepts’, and mocking the antique forms of traditional theatre.
The dance is also a very prominent feature of Bauhaus Theatre, as it was something that very much stayed alive during this period. During the time of Bauhaus Theatre, dance transformed from ‘crude’ country dancing to full-dress foxtrot, which is a similar pattern to the music occurring during this time. Music had a transformation from concertina into jazz band. “Group dancing found its image reflected on the stage in the dance of the individual. And from this developed our formalized use of color. Experimentation with colored light and shadows became the ‘Reflectory Light Play’. A marionette theatre was begun.”
I am particularly captured by the intricacies of each costume Bauhaus created and performed with. Each one portrays a personality and is highly unique, but when they perform together, it is almost as though there has been an explosion of vibrancy and intricacy. The lack of personalities with some of the costumes is also a little creepy, and I am not sure how to feel about them. The range of dance that Bauhaus Theatre uses is also very fascinating, as they could quite easily incorporate any dance that they wished to their performances.

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