The Rite of SpringA Puppet Rite, length 0 min

The Rite of Spring, Illustration: Lea Zupančič
The Rite of Spring belongs among the most frequently performed dance pieces. The work is a myth in itself, which it became immediately after its world premiere in Theatre Champs-Élysées in 1913. Even though it blended into the Western perception about the wild and pagan barbarians from the East, it managed to move the boundaries of thinking (as far as both its music and choreography are concerned) beyond mere decorativeness. The stormy reactions that followed its premiere failed to override a significant breakaway from the ruling ballet convention – both in terms of what was believed at that time »of the ball« movement and the use of the orchestra, which in some parts acts like a single rhythm section. The music by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky is so dramatically dynamic and determined that it provokes a feeling of the pagan ritual and violence of nature – the human nature, in particular.
Stravinsky explored the legend, deriving from the ancient pagan ritual of sacrificing a virgin to the God of Spring in exchange for fertility with Russian ethnologist, painter and theosophist Nicholas Roerich. The community demands the sacrifice of a virgin, who dances herself to death.

Sacrifice is often associated with manipulation. And the same applies to a puppet, which is often considered a metaphor for manipulation as well.  Intertwining in the mentioned are two fragments of thinking, leading to a staging of The Rite of Spring with puppets. It is a challenge of movement, which includes the understanding of movement as a metaphor for life. This staging of The Rite of Spring will be much more than just a manipulation. It will be a question of how much life we can breathe into something that will soon be sacrificed.

Matjaž Farič is a renowned theatre director, choreographer and dancer, and an important figure in the development of the Slovenian dance and choreography. He has already directed for the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, where he put on stage his performance Scary Fairy, whereas this time he will be tackling the genre of puppet ballet for the first time.

Author: Igor Stravinski
Director: Matjaž Farič
Visual Design: Barbara Stupica