The iconic ballet Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky to music composed by Igor Stravinsky and performed by Sergei Diaghilev’s legendary Ballets Russes in Paris, marked its centenary in 2013. The Rite of Spring was a game-changing moment in the history of music and dance. The dissonant tones and driving yet unpredictable rhythms of Stravinsky’s revolutionary score, and the sharp angles, contorted shapes and forceful stomping in Nijinsky’s groundbreaking choreography, burst the artistic boundaries of the day.
In the 100 years since its premiere, The Rite of Spring has been revisited and reinvented by scores of dance artists inspired by this cultural milestone. Last spring, the York Dance Ensemble (YDE), the resident company of York University’s Department of Dance, heralded its own quarter-century season with an exciting new contribution to the canon with Rite Redux – an audacious, thoroughly contemporary and very Canadian reimagining of Sacre, transposed into the wilds of northern Ontario and steeped in the imagery of Tom Thomson and The Group of Seven.
On Feb. 19, from 7 to 7:30pm, the YDE performs excerpts from Rite Redux at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The performance is choreographed by York dance Professor Holly Small, with projections created by York dance Professor William Mackwood. It is part of an informal lecture and demonstration by Small, who is talking about the work and its creative process.
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) presents Rite Redux in association with the exhibition The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection 1910-1918.
A modified version of Rite Redux will be reprised Sunday, Feb. 23 at 2pm. All performances will take place in Walker Court. Admission to the performance is free with admission to the AGO.
For more information, visit the AGO website.