On May 29, 1913 the Ballets Russes premiered the Rite of Spring, with music by Igor Stravinsky and choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. A near riot broke out in the bourgeois Parisian audience, shocked by what they were seeing. But it sparked something, the impact of which would ripple through the century, leaving an indelible mark on music, choreography and the fine arts. Haunting the dance world, the piece is a rite of passage in itself for European choreographers.
Producer Clara Giraud has commissioned 3 new pieces to celebrate, interrogate and contemplate the hundred year legacy of that night. In a current dance ecology that has a tendency to play it safe and where riots are nowhere to be found, she is hoping to trigger a dialogue about this heritage: asking what might radicalism or provocation look like today?
The Rite Of Spring by Joseph Mercier and PanicLab
Expect bruises, sweat and blood in this new version of the ballet in which sacrifice takes on a very real dimension. A live Mixed Martial Arts match will be fought to the original Stravinsky score by two dancers recently trained in combat techniques.
The Birthday Party by Jamila Johnson-Small
A short dance duet, using the ‘Sacrifice of the Young Girl’ as a point of investigation.
Last Rites by Jamie Lewis Hadley
Using the outraged, riotous response to the original performance as a departure point, the piece uses the aesthetics and movement vocabulary of contemporary riots and protest – particularly those in Russia and France – to explore the theme of sacrifice.
Tickets : £10
To book, call : 020 8981 6617
Venue: Chisenhale Dance Space, 64-84 Chisenhale Road, London, E3 5QZ
Organised by PanicLab, a company co-created by Joseph Mercier and Clara Giraud
Funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.