The Rite of Spring
The Rite of Spring is a ballet/orchestral piece composed by Igor Stravinsky and choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky. Premiering on May 29th, 1913, at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées, The Rite of Spring was one of the most controversial and scandalous scores in the history of music and dance. Featuring elements of pagan sacrifice, outrageous costumes, and strange choreography, the performance started a riot in the audience and as a result, the choreography was never played along with the original music composition. While the latter has been played numerous times as a stand-alone orchestral piece, the dance hasn’t been as popular as time went on. It was however, recreated by several contemporary choreographers, namely Millicent Hodson, Maurice Bejart, Pina Bausch.
After watching all three choreographies of the ballet, I felt that Millicent Hosdon’s rendition provided the best relationship between the dance and the music. I believe that music played along with dance can really enhance the performance of each. Alone, each one my sound or look good, but if they are effectively combined, it is quite a sight to behold. I felt that Hodson achieved just that in his version. Throughout the performance, I felt that the dancers really moved their bodies in a way that complimented the ups and downs of the musical score very effectively. I noticed from the 3:00 minute mark to about the 3:35 mark of Part Two, a real synergy between the beat and the physical gestures of the dancers. As the trumpets finished accenting their notes, the dancer’s feet landed on the ground almost simultaneously. This process lasted throughout those thirty five seconds and really illustrated the attention and respect the dancers gave the music. The fact that such a small detail was accounted for also shows how much time Hodson placed into the choreography. Furthermore, in the latter part of that section at around the 3:25 mark, you hear the percussionist banging the timpani as the...
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