AIMS OF PRÉ THEATRE
by Raoul Hausmann & Laszlo Peri
Originally published as “Die Absichten des Theaters Pré,” Der Sturm vol. 13, no. 9
The Pré Theatre sets out to show the human being as a moving component within a shifting configuration of spatial tension. In the first place, it treats a dancer as an entity that perceives itself entirely as the centre and periphery of the space defined by the stage. As an abstract quantity, a cubic art form, this space conditions awareness of the dancer as a bearer of space and mover in space, whose task is also to shape the invisible, to shape the logic of the seeming void. The dancer moves the space by sensing all the interrelated tensions of that space within himself and using his body to give them a manifest form. The dancer in the Pré Theatre could never sense or shape kinetic relationships against an arbitrary or nonconstructive space; the artificial space of the stage must always be spatially constructed in such a way that the dance emanates from it as the one and only possible logic of movement. This means that both décor and costume, in the old sense, must be eliminated. The logic and clarity of the stage construction prompts and impels the dancer into a form of dance organically bound up with that space. The bygone romanticism of movement is abolished; by analogy with the stage design, the dancer becomes the expression of the vertical, the diagonal, and the square. The stage is treated in accordance with the new conceptions of space in painting and is spatially structured in cubic forms. The so-called background is now in a living relationship with the central space, in which the dancer captures those relationships and transforms them into a synthesis of movements of his limbs, which must be trained to abandon the mechanics of the merely human. Improvisation in dance thus becomes impossible, and dance - total spatial integration - is expressed through the human mental kinetic impulse. The synthesis of the human being in spatial movement in the dance is governed by the strictest observation of rule. The seeming freedom of grotesque dance is perceived as anarchic and rejected. In perfect conformity to the space and to the dance, the music must use the acoustic ratios to set its tempo.
The Pré Theatre sets out to achieve perfect observation of law and clarity of movement in time and space within the unified form of solid, plane, and sound: a new form of dance, stage, and music.
Der Sturm vol 13, no.9, Sept 1922