Debut of “The Rite of Spring” in the USSR


The first performance of The Rite of Spring in the USSR was staged at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1965. Choreographers N. Kasatkina and V. Vasilyov wrote their own libretto, combining the musical form of suite with subject-matter ballet. The performance had a hard dramatic framework. The choreographers preserved and developed the theme of paganism of Slavonic peoples, laid by I. Stravinsky. Choreography of the performance was based on classical dance, combined with other plastic systems. The main was the synthesis of classical dance with the elements of dance folklore. Choreographers introduced so-called “bestial” and “avian” plastics into female images and elements of fighting arts into male ones. Plastic images of the Possessed and Elder Sage included the elements of ritual dances. Dance on pointes was also used. The main character of the ballet by Kasatkina and Vasilyov — the Shepherd — became a contemporary hero, at the same time being one of the first examples of a hero of a new type of 1960s.