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From “Rite of Spring” to “Spring Training”


We are proud to welcome back UNIVERSES to ArtsEmerson, who will be closing The Next Thing Festival with a workshop presentation of their upcoming work, Spring Training. UNIVERSES, famed for their unique style that blends blues, rhythmic poetry, hip-hop and Spanish boleros, will explore the nature of “revolutions” through examining Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. UNIVERSES has found a way to make relevant a piece of music a century old, yet another indicator that this company is The Next Thing.

The rite of spring

In 1913, Russian composer Igor Stravinsky premiered Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring, in English) to a Parisian audience at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées as part of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes company, with choreography by Valslav Nijinsky. The premise of the piece: after various primitive rituals celebrating the advent of spring, a Russian tribe chooses a young girl to dance herself to death as a sacrificial victim to appease the gods of spring.

Now, the type of audience regularly seen at ballets consisted of members of the wealthy upper class who coveted classical ballet and took pride in their revered primary dancers. They expected to see on the stage the same elegant, regal leaps and twirls and delicate lines to which they were so accustomed. Instead…

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