100 years ago today the Ballets Russes premiered composer Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris.
To an audience accustomed to beauty and grace, Stravinsky’s avant-garde sound and Vaslav Nijinsky’s unconventional choreography was too much for them to handle and a riot broke out.
Never before have classical dancers stood with hunched shoulders and turned in feet. Technique was not the focal point as the dancers’ stomped and clapped their way through a ritualistic dance that sent the audience into a tissy!
With this ballet you either love it or you hate it. I personally can’t stand it, but as a dancer writer/historian I can appreciate the innovation and the genius behind it.
Check out an excerpt of the Joffrey Ballet’s Rite of Spring here!