Sunday, December 02, 2007

No Wonder There Was a Riot

Excerpts on YouTube of Nijinsky's choreography for Le Sacre du Printemps, as reconstructed for the Joffrey Ballet. The dancing looks like nothing I've seen before.

Read about the reconstruction in a Times article.

A tip 'o the hat to Elaine Fine for the pointer.


Chris Foley said...

My favorite part is when the sage enters and everyone goes mental.

I first saw the entire film while taking a course at Eastman and realized that it was the choreography that caused the riot, not the music.

The strange pose with the toes pointed inward is said to be based on an archaic style of Russian doll-making.

Lisa Hirsch said...


I need to find the film.

Elaine Fine said...

Drat! The Times article doesn't come up on my computer!

Lisa Hirsch said...

Aack, sorry. Fixed now!

Celeste Winant said...

I saw Joffrey perfrom the Rite of Spring in the mid-80's- their choreography had the same basic elements of groups of people running around in circles, stomping to the mixed meter, but as I recall, there was much less literal story telling in that version- or maybe I just didn't get it because I was 11. Anyway, this is fantastic!

Lisa Hirsch said...

It is, and Elaine's posting, to which I linked, has links to the Joffrey's Petrouchka too.

Anonymous said...

Also on YouTube is a version the BBC did a couple of years ago, with much the same dancing, but within a drama giving revolving around the premiere. And yes, it seems the "riot" was about the choreography and not the music, and not only that, it was preplanned.


And it is still fairly hair-raising after all these years. There are several other versions on YouTube, if you search, and some are quite intense.