JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 876
Jean Bouillard (the famous physician), Joseph de Lalande
(astronomer and director of the Paris Observatory), the Paris Academy of
Sciences, the French Academy of Sciences, Jacques Babinet, and the University
of Bologna are examples of people and entities sharing something fantastically
uncomfortable—they all ridiculed the initial presentations of what would become
some of the most magnificent achievements of the last 500 years. Bouillard incredibly and improbably insisted
that Edison’s phonograph was impossible and a hoax, Lalande thought it utterly
impossible to fly, the
The funny thing about “normalcy” is that all it seems to measure is the time it takes to move from one state of “normalcy” to the next. People should know better than to expect that there should be no periods of extended non-change.
It is interesting to think about how new ideas like these are perceived. I came to think about this searching for a picture of the wire costume for the black series in Oskar Schelmmer’s (1888-1943, designer, artist, dancer and by 1923 the Master of Form at the Bauhaus) Triadic Ballet ("Triadisches Ballett”)1 of 1927. Better than a still, I actually found clips of the dance on youtube, which just floors me.
I imagine that Schlemmer didn’t find a very happy reception
to his dance and costumes. He was
outside the sphere of even those re-inventing dance in
It is phenomenal to me to see these changes in dance in such a short time, and how much of this movement would have been nearly impossible to conceive as an art form only a decade or so earlier. Except to the minority of people like Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis, who had already rejected the restricting forms of classical ballet—the work of Schlemmer must’ve felt like a lightning strike.
1. See this on Musikperformance.