Bauhaus Stage, Dessau

Erich Consemüller, 1927

With the move into the new school building in Dessau, in 1926 the Bauhaus gained a “house-stage” of its own. Although there had been a stage workshop in Weimar from 1921, “we [...] had to give our productions on a sort of dubious suburban podium there”. But now for the very first time, the stage workshop had rooms for its rehearsals and performances – most of which were to take place in the context of the Bauhaus parties.


© Dr. Stephan Consemüller

[Translate to English:] Text

The stage in the Bauhaus building in Dessau was “originally meant to be a platform for lectures as well as a stage for performances on a limited scale”.  Technically, it was not especially well equipped, although something else could have been expected of a stage in the Bauhaus sense. Spatially, it connected the auditorium with the canteen behind the stage, so that the space could be adapted and the audience seated on both sides. In the first issue of the magazine “bauhaus”, Oskar Schlemmer wrote: “having two stage fronts and no back wall makes the centre of the stage more important and forces a three-dimensionality of play, which has innovative effects on both the physical movements and the word and sound acoustics.“ This investigation of the space and of the movement of the human body within it was what Schlemmer explored with the “Bauhaus Dances”.

A photograph by the Bauhausler Erich Consemüller takes a look at the open-plan stage space and everyday life in the stage workshop: “Photographing from the auditorium, Consemüller succeeded in conveying an authentic image of the work atmosphere in the stage workshop. In contrast to the photographs of the stage scenes, where the order and pose of the actors was often predetermined by Schlemmer, all of the participants can be seen here as they pursue their activities: Schlemmer is in conversation with Werner Siedhoff, one of his actors. Weininger is rehearsing at the grand piano, and Heinz Loew is checking a spotlight. A curious outsider is watching as this happens."

[NO 2017, Translation: RW]

  1. Literatur:
  2. Schlemmer, Oskar (1926): die bühne im bauhaus, in: bauhaus 1 sowie (1927): bühne, in: bauhaus 3.
  3. Blume, Torsten und Duhm, Burghard, Hg. (2008): Bauhaus. Bühne. Dessau. Szenenwechsel, Berlin.
  4. Barche, Gisela (1990): Die fotografische Bildinszenierung – Zur Bühnenfotografie des Bauhauses, in: Fiedler, Jeannine (Hg.): Fotografie am Bauhaus, Berlin, S. 238–254.
  5. Herzogenrath, Wulf und Kraus, Stefan (1989): Erich Consemüller. Fotografien Bauhaus-Dessau, München.
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