The Triadic Ballet: Eccentric Bauhaus ballet brilliance or is it Germanic Maude Lebowski art shit?


 
To the layman, the legacy of the Bauhaus movement is often unfairly reduced to über-gloomy goth rockers and boxy modern architecture, but my formative years were influenced by a succession of eccentric ballet teachers, so to me, Bauhaus will always mean Oskar Schlemmer’s 1922 opus, “Das Triadisches Ballett” (The Triadic Ballet)—perhaps the least “human” dance performance ever concieved.

Schlemmer was a painter, sculptor, designer and choreographer—that kind of factotum being par for the course in the Bauhaus ethos. When hired to teach at the Bauhaus school, Schlemmer combined his work in both sculpture and theater to create the internationally acclaimed extravaganza which toured from 1922 until 1929, when Schlemmer left an increasingly volatile Germany.

When I showed this video to an ex-boyfriend, he described it succinctly as “some really goddamn German Maude Lebowski art shit,” and that’s not a bad way to put it. The sets are minimalist, emphasizing perspective and clean lines. The choreography is limited by the bulky, sculptural, geometric costumes, the movement stiflingly deliberate, incredibly mechanical and mathy, with a rare hints of any fluid dance. The whole thing is daringly weird and strangely mesmerizing.

Below are a few pictures of original Bauhaus ballet performers, and the 1970 German film production of “Das Triadisches Ballett.” New music was composed for this short, and the orchestral sounds contrast nicely with such an inorganic spectacle.
 
Bauhaus ballet
Performers from an early run of Das Triadische Ballet, 1924
 
Bauhaus
Rehearsal, 1928
 
Bauhaus
Stelzenläufer, 1927
 
Bauhaus
Costume for the Neue Sachlichkeit Party, 1926
 
Bowie and Bauhaus
Triadic Ballet costume and David Bowie’s Kansai Yamamoto-designed Ziggy Stardust jumpsuit, for comparison
 

Written by Amber Frost | Discussion
Bauhaus, Japan, Cocteau Twins and more on ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’


 
This morning, in the course of searching for a King Crimson video, I ran across an incredible - and given the criminally low view counts, apparently undiscovered - trove of high quality New Wave and Gothic videos from the legendary British television show The Old Grey Whistle Test, few of which are to be found on the DVD collection. I’ve posted a few of my favorites here, but there’s plenty more on the profile of YouTube user ArtNoyze. Enjoy.
 

Altered Images - ‘Insects’
 

Japan - ‘Ghosts’
 

Adam & The Ants - ‘Ant Invasion’
 
The Teardrop Explodes, Cocteau Twins and Bauhaus after the jump…

Written by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy gets 3 years probation, community service for meth possession and hit and run
10.16.2013
11:23 am

Topics:
Crime
Drugs
Music

Tags:
Bauhaus
meth
Peter Murphy


Bela Lugosi plead…

You probably recall the trouble Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy got into back in March when he was arrested in Glendale, California for driving under the influence of drugs, hit-and-run and possessing crystal meth. Police reports said he appeared confused and even had difficulty recalling what day it was.

Although the goth legend initially pleaded not guilty to all three charges, he changed his tune when he was sentenced on October 10 in a Los Angeles court. Murphy plead no contest to misdemeanor hit-and-run driving and guilty to the methamphetamine possession charge, as reported by Glendale News.

The singer must also attend 45 days of Narcotics Anonymous meetings, perform ten days of community service and submit to random drug tests.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Bauhaus’s ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ time-stretched to a brain-melting nine hours
04.23.2013
12:51 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Bauhaus


 
Bauhaus’s “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” or…

The last sound a subway train hears before it dies.

The sound of God sucking it up.

Townsend’s tinnitus.

The Empire State Building snoring.

Beelzebub taking a massive bowel movement.
 

Written by Marc Campbell | Discussion
Goth king Peter Murphy doing goofy interpretive dance to ‘Hollow Hills’ by Bauhaus, 1983
01.11.2013
11:41 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Goth
Bauhaus
Peter Murphy
dancing


 
According to his Wikipedia entry, Peter Murphy, who in 1983 had only just recently departed Bauhaus, made “some brief dabbling with acting and dance – including a slightly odd televised performance to Bauhaus’s ‘Hollow Hills.’”

Wha? Naturally I googled this “slightly odd televised performance” and of course, there it was… His interpretive dance here is slightly odd, I’d have to agree (“naff” is a word that comes readily to mind as well). You’d have to think his former bandmates would have found this sand dune ballet on-the-floor, coughing-with-tears-hysterically-funny to watch.

Speaking of Peter Murphy, I heard the craziest story last night over dinner with my friend Adam Peters, a Hollywood composer who recently scored Oliver Stone’s Savages (and who arranged and played the famous cello part on Echo and the Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon”).

We had been discussing Howard Devoto’s post-punk artrock band, Magazine and he told me about seeing Bauhaus open for Magazine in Guildford in 1980. The “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” single was already out, but In The Flat Field had not been released yet. The third band was Crisis, with Douglas Pearce and Tony Wakeford later of Death In June and Sol Invictus, whose following included many skinheads.

Of course the Guildford skinheads had never seen anything like Bauhaus and, as skins do, started spitting at the band, Peter Murphy in particular. Adam said that Murphy tore his shirt off, grabbed a light on a stand and made like he was being crucified at the front of the stage, provoking a steady stream of gob as he stood motionless, shining the light directly into their faces, staring them down and daring them to continue. The band continued to vamp on the slow chords of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” he told me, for about a half hour as this went on, with Murphy absolutely drenched in spit.

Eventually it stopped and the skins left because this interaction had apparently freaked them the fuck out!

“That would be hard to top! Did Magazine actually play after THAT?” I asked him.

“They did, but they probably should have just tuned the house lights up. No one really cared about Magazine after that.”

If that isn’t the most Artaud-esque thing that’s ever occurred on a concert stage, I can’t imagine what would be…

Below, Peter Murphy’s “slightly odd televised performance” on Riverside, 1983:
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
True Goth: When Nico sang with Bauhaus, 1981
12.10.2012
09:06 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Nico
Bauhaus


 
First I stumbled across these photos of the Velvet Underground’s junkie chanteuse doing a guest turn with Bauhaus and wouldn’t you know it, someone kindly posted the number, a cover of the VU’s “I’m Waiting for the Man,” on YouTube.
 

 

Ian Astbury: “Nico just ended up in Manchester on heroin. Southern Death Cult supported Bauhaus at Salford University when she did ‘Waiting for the Man’ with them, and Pete Murphy had to hold her up, she was so smacked out!”

 

 

Peter Murphy “Nico was gothic, but she was Mary Shelley gothic to everyone else’s Hammer horror film gothic. They both did Frankenstein, but Nico’s was real.”

 
Recorded at Fagin’s in Manchester on October 23, 1981 and later added as a CD bonus track to the Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape live Bauhaus album.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Bauhaus: In concert and on video
10.20.2011
08:38 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Goth
Bauhaus

image
 
Gotham - Bauhaus in concert, filmed at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, on September 9th and 10th, 1998, as part of their reunion tour.

Track Listing:

01. “Double Dare”
02. “In the Flat Field”
03. “A God in the Alcove”
04. “Kick in The Eye”
05. “Hollow Hills” 
06. “In Fear of Fear”
07. “Boys”
08. “She’s In Parties”
09. “Passion of Lovers” 
10. “Dark Entries” 
11. “All We Ever Wanted” 
12. “Spirit”
13. “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”
14. “Telegram Sam”
15. “Ziggy Stardust”
16. “The Passenger”
 

 
Bauhaus - Shadow of Light. More lipstick and cheekbones from Northampton’s famous sons.

Track Listing:

01. “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (live)
02. “Telegram Sam”
03. “Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores” (live)
04. “Mask”
05. “Spirit”
06. “In The Flat Field” (live)
07. “Ziggy Stardust”
08. “Hollow Hills” (live)
09. “She’s In Parties”
 

 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
‘Undead! Undead! Undead!’
05.02.2011
03:26 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Bela Lugosi
Bauhaus
Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Peter Murphy shills for Maxell cassette tapes
07.14.2010
10:07 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Bauhaus
Peter Murphy
cassettes
Maxell

image
 
Here’s a classic British TV commercial from the ‘80s starring Peter Murphy from Bauhaus. You can read on the Internet that he was on the label, seen above, and in the print ads, too, but was that really Peter Murphy, too? I think it’s someone else.

Peter Murphy’s birthday was July 11. He’s 53 now and still looks like this. I guess drinking the blood of vestal virgins keeps you young, eh?
 

 

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion