The Rite of Spring

The good stuff starts around 8:00 – and boy is it good. I’m talking serious Medeia and Starry Bear vibes. Plus there are dancing Úlfhéðnar!

5 thoughts on “The Rite of Spring

  1. the opening melody is based on a Lithuanian folk song. When the original ballet (this is a reconstruction of the original, I believe) was performed in 1913 in Paris, it caused a riot — both the music and the choreography was considered intensely wild, orgiastic, and outre.

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      1. When I was still a ballet dancer (I worked professionally through my early twenties), I hated it. LOL. I was very much a traditionalist (in my world, after the first round of the Ballet Russe, ballet went down hill. I still question most of the modern crap I see and Balanchine is right on the cusp of what I can stomach — it’s all about extensions and flamboyance and not artistic common sense these days and way too much about the choreographer and company instead of shining individual stars. ugh.but I digress). Because I was so traditional, I didn’t like the avant garde choreography of either Nijinska or Nijinsky (they were siblings and slavic names end differently depending on the gender of the person). Over the years though, and especially with this proper reconstruction of the ballet, I’ve come to appreciate it and see the power in it. I think Nijinsky really tapped into something intensely primal, sacred, and powerful.

        A friend asked me why it had to be reconstructed. There is ballet notation, and there have been systems of notation since at least the 18th century but they’re not universal and they each have their drawbacks. Labanotation,, the form used today, is one of the most thorough but it didn’t, iirc, exist yet when Nijinsky choreographed. Ballet, even today, is passed in the body. A dancer learns a piece and teaches it to another dancer. Memory is passed body to body and if that chain is broken, so much can be lost.

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          1. Now, the choreography probably doesn’t seem that outre or avant garde at all. We can’t see it the same way the audience in 1913 did, because everything that has come after was influenced by this particular period in ballet history. We’re inured to it, but the jagged, choppy moves, turned in stance, dissonant music, and subject matter was absolutely shocking at the time.

            Life goals: choreograph a ballet that starts a riot and goes down in ballet history. Nijinsky: done. ^_^

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