What a difference 100 years makes!
“THE RITE OF SPRING,” or (“Le Sacre du Printemps”), Igor Stravinsky’s historic shocker of a ballet that shows and celebrates a human sacrifice, will be 100 years old next May.
Though it created a near riot in Paris when it was premiered, it was actually Diaghilev’s choreography that caused the audience into a mob rather than Stravinsky’s music itself as many believe. The music could hardly be heard over the outcries of scandal. “Things got as far as fighting.” Stravinsky told his friend.
Today, Stravinsky’s third ballet for the Russian dancer is part of the repertoire. No riot; maybe a lot of coughing but that occurs for any piece.
Boy what I wouldn’t give for today’s audiences to show a little bit of that same raw emotion; maybe not a riot but at least a little episode of being slightly upset!
Image: “Shocker Cools Into a ‘Rite’ of Passage” – NY Times [Music]