The Rite of Spring

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  • Topic: The Rite of Spring, Dance, Ballets Russes
  • Pages : 4 (1620 words )
  • Download(s) : 136
  • Published : May 1, 2013
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Dance Critique: The Rite of Spring

The Rite of Spring was choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, a Russian dancer and choreographer. He joined The Imperial School of Ballet in 1900 and was later the lead dancer of the Ballet Russes. He eventually choreographed many works, one of them being Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) in 1913. He “exceeded the limits of traditional ballet” and the Rite was an example of this. In 1919 he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent the rest of his life in and out of hospitals until he died in London on April 8, 1950. The Rite of Spring was performed by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes on May 29th, 1913 at the Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris. It was later remade by the Joffrey Ballet in Los Angeles on September 30, 1987. Igor Stravinsky was the composer for The Rite of Spring. In his works for the Rite there was a significant basis of Russian and Lithuanian folk music. His music has influenced many of the 20th century composers and the idea that the Rite portrayed was inspired by Pagan Russia. The Rite of Spring became one of the first pieces of work that led to modern dance.

The Rite of Spring had two acts, the first was called The Adoration of the Earth and the second was The Sacrifice. In act one, a group of men and women danced in circles in order to welcome the new season of spring. The mood during this act was very happy and bright. I think this performance showed the ritualistic actions of pre-civilized natives who welcomed spring and worshipped mother nature, and possibly dancing in hopes of good crops. There is a moment in this act where it seems as though the men and women are fighting but peace is then restored when an old man comes out and calms everyone. The mood drastically shifts to depressing, dark, sorrowful, and violent in the second act when a young woman is picked to be a sacrifice. The woman starts off scared and stays still in the circle of people that surrounds her but...
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