Visual Encyclopedia

The Rite of Spring

The Rite of Spring (French: Le Sacre du printemps; Весна священная, Vesna svyashchennaya, "sacred spring") is a ballet and orchestral concert work by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. It was written for the 1913 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes company; the original choreography was by Vaslav Nijinsky, with stage designs and costumes by Nicholas Roerich. When first performed, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 29 May 1913, the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation and a near-riot in the audience. Although designed as a work for the stage, with specific passages accompanying characters and action, the music achieved equal if not greater recognition as a concert piece, and is widely considered to be one of the most influential musical works of the 20th century.

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The Rite of Spring was a ballet that was and still is way ahead of it's time. Three people responsible for this creation...Nijinsky, Stravinsky, and Diaghalev... the choreographer, writer, and producer. This is a film dramatizing the historical event when the ballet premiered in Paris and was not well received by an audience full of Parisians. Some broke into fights, some started a riot, some made cat calls, some laughed, some booed all the way through....but it was what Stravinsky wanted to happen. He wanted it to be an impact.

Contributed by Monica Norris

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