Whose Idea Was The Rite?


In 1910 in Russia, two ideas were simultaneously conceived and developed: one of The Rite of Spring and the other, less known, of the ballet Leyla and Adelay (Alaley and Leyla). The ini- tiative for the latter came from Vsevolod Meyerhold, who secured support of Mikhail Teresh- chenko, the director of the Imperial theatres in St. Petersburg. The script was commanded to the writer Aleksey Remizov, a connoisseur of Russian antiquities; Anatoly Lyadov, the most “Russian” of the composers, was to compose the music; and Alexander Golovin — to make the stage design and costumes. Diagilev’s group started working on The Rite of Spring almost simultaneously with Meyerhold’s team, in the spring of 1910 and, until 1912, the two groups worked in parallel. While writing the script for Meyerhold, Remizov advised Diagilev on an- cient Slavic mythology, and Mikhail Fokin was choreographer for both of them. In such cir- cumstances, it was impossible for both groups to keep their work secret and mutual influences were unavoidable. In the present paper the author stresses Remizov’s role in creating a new genre of “mystery-ballet”, which the writer called, by the name of a Slavic pagan rite, rusalia.