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Thursday, October 3, 2013

In Context: A Rite

Photo: A Rite, by 

A Rite runs at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House from October 3—5. Context is everything, so get even closer to the incendiary action with this curated selection of articles, videos, and original blog pieces related to the show. For those of you who've already seen it, help us keep the conversation going by telling us what you thought below.

From BAM

Star-Spangled Stravinsky (BAM Blog)
For a time, the Rite composer lived in LA, drove a Dodge, and listened to jazz.

A Rite, Remixed (BAM Blog)
The Parisians were shocked by the turned in knees of Nijinsky’s choreography,” says Bill T. Jones. “But they’d be doing the Charleston on the Champs-Élysées a few years later.”

Will Bond and Jenna Riegel, "Dactors" in A Rite  (BAM Blog)
Cast members discuss actors dancing, dancers acting, and much more.

Around the Web

Rewriting the Rite: Bill T. Jones and Anne Bogart Meditate on The Rite of Spring (The Huffington Post)
How to revive a dance warhorse? Get rid of the sacrificial virgin, for one.

Stravinsky on The Rite of Spring (YouTube)
“It was a rather new chord, you know?” Stravinsky talks about his masterpiece.

Did The Rite of Spring Really Start A Riot? (The Guardian)
The Guardian separates fact from fiction in this look back at a rowdy premiere.

Shocker Cools Into a ‘Rite’ of Passage (The New York Times)
Orchestras fumbled through the scandalous Rite when it first premiered. Now, it’s machine-tooled business as usual.  

NYC-ARTS Profile of Bill T. Jones (YouTube)
“I think we really did inspired people to think past gender, think past body size, and begin to think what makes choreography. I say its living sculpture.”

“What I Wish To Express in The Rite of Spring” (Carolina Performing Arts)
“All are seized with terror," wrote Stravinsky. "Each, covering his head, runs in spirals, pouring fourth in numbers, like the new energies of nature. It is the Dance of the Earth."

Stravinsky, A Documentary (YouTube)
Watch the 1965 CBC documentary profiling the life of the Russian composer.

Worthwhile Words

Stravinsky on The Rite of Spring:
In short, I have tried to express in this Prelude the fear of nature before the arising of beauty, a sacred terror at the midday sun, a sort of pagan cry. The musical material itself swells, enlarges, expands. Each instrument is like a bud which grows on the bark of an aged tree; it becomes part of an imposing whole. And the whole orchestra, all this massing of instruments, should have the significance of the Birth of Spring. 

Now Your Turn...

So what's your verdict? Still shocked by the epochal shocker? Once you've seen the show, tell us what you thought in the comments below.


  1. Pretentious claptrap. If they'd just shut up and danced it would have been fine, but there was far too little of that.

  2. it was incredible. not to be missed.


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