Rite of Spring as a Dance: Recent Re-visions


Hundreds of choreographers over the century have been both thrilled by the power and energy of Stravinsky’s Sacre score and shocked by its statement. Perhaps prompted by the 1987 Nijinsky reconstruction and a surge of interest in the Sacre legacy, some choreographers, especially since the 1980s, have explored its theme with a new sense of irony and fresh awareness of the burden of its past.
Using Bausch’s 1975 “classic” as a point of contrast, the paper discusses Sacres by such choreographers as Paul Taylor, Jerome Bel, Xavier Le Roy and Mark Morris, work that explores identity, relations between audience and performers, authorial power and dark humour. New ways of asserting the physicality and driving force of the score are also considered, such as taking machine motion to an absurd extreme as well as experimenting with a more flexible, or even entirely negative, musicality: the dance not being motorized by Stravinsky.