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ilvorangeiceblocks's avatar

Thoughts on the Rite of Spring?

Asked by ilvorangeiceblocks (832 points ) March 12th, 2013

Seen it? Love it? Hate it? Why do you think it wasn’t well received by its first audiences?

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6 Answers

bookish1's avatar

It is still pretty disturbing to contemporary eyes. (Maybe I just don’t understand modern dance. That is quite possible.) I do not remember why it was seen as so upsetting in 1913.

But I do know that this was just the last and most famous in a long line of European theater riots. Audiences used to be much more participatory!

Pachy's avatar

Rite was my introduction to Stravinsky. I was 20-something at the time, and the music, dissonance and all, absolutely knocked me out. I was never much attracted to the ballet, only the music, and it still gives me chills to this day.

Rarebear's avatar

It’s one of my favorite pieces of music.

Earthgirl's avatar

I recently watched the video of Martha Graham Dance Company. The music is powerful and the dancing is very intense. I can understand why it was shocking for the time. The idea of a pagan ritual is light years away from classical ballets’ images of swans and romance. It has elements of ritual, bondage, barely veiled sexuality. Martha Graham was such a fierce personality and it really shows in this dance. I love the Halston costumes in the video. I think they perfectly suit the action and complement it.

I’m reading her autobiography right now and it’s really interesting. I am trying to get tickets to see Rite of Spring at Jacob’s Pillow, performed by the Martha Graham Dance Company.
Here is a little history of the reactions the ballet and the music received at the premeire 100 years ago.

Rarebear's avatar

Although it was written as a ballet, normally it’s not performed that way. I’ve seen it performed a number of times, but never as a ballet—I’d like to though.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

I don’t really like Stravinsky. I’m a fan of other Russians: Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakoc, Prokofiev…
Rite of Spring was a piece I had to analyze for Music Appreciation. Objectively, and speaking from a technical musical standpoint, it was musical ingenuity and originality at best.
Subjectively, I hated the sound of it.

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