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The Rite of SpringA Puppet Ballet, length 45 min

The Rite of Spring, photo Jaka Varmuž
This puppet ballet was conceived to the music by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky who composed one of the most controversial musical pieces in the history of musical art in the beginning of the 20th century. Today, it seems almost unbelievable that this highly popular and esteemed composition was considered as scandalous at its world premiere, that the choreography, conceived by Vaclav Nijinsky, was regarded as catastrophic, and that the music itself was misunderstood.

In Slovenia, we could so far see several versions of The Rite of Spring or variations on the theme: from The Rite of Spring by Edward Clug through the Tryptich conceived together by Maša Kagao Knez, Jana Menger and Rosana Hribar all the way to The Rite of Spring, staged by Matjaž Farič as a part of his Trilogyin Cankarjev dom, in 1996. Matjaž Farič has been tackling this theme for the third time, since his two performances were also staged in the Studio - Contemporary Dance Company in Zagreb. This time he deals with it through a new medium – puppet or animated object. 

The starting point for the story was the individual and his or her destiny, defined by the society. In the puppet ballet The Rite of Spring the elements of classical puppet animation are complemented by contemporary dance movements, animated objects and video projection, which supports with its contents all the remaining elements. In both movement and content it is about a ritual, a dedication to the classical techniques of artistic work, which is later on sacrificed for creative freedom.

Nature calls for victims. The community organises sacrifice. The victim is a naively clean and uncompromisingly committed individual who is ready to dance to death for the welfare of the community. Sacrifice is often associated with manipulation. The puppet too is many times a metaphor for manipulation. Blending within this are the two fragments of reflection that lead to the staging of The Rite of Spring with the puppets. It is about the challenge of movement, including the understanding of movement as a metaphor for survival. This version of The Rite of Spring is about much more than just the manipulation. It is about the question of how much life we are able to breathe into something that we are soon going to sacrifice.

Something so powerful mesmerised us last night, something so dark, yet not hopeless. – Radio Slovenija 

The eclectic performance directed by Matjaž Farič combines puppets or animation of objects, the elements of ballet and expressive dance, performed by both puppets and actors, hypnotic video sequences and a wonderful light game. – Mladina, weekly

The performance is an aesthetically beautifully unified ... poetic stage work, which creates convincing semantic and thematic frameworks and fine-tunes the guidelines for reading the play, while allowing enough associative and interpretative freedom… Delo, daily


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.

Music: Igor Stravinski
Director: Matjaž Farič
Visual Design: Barbara Stupica
Dramaturgy: Staša Prah, Nika Švab
Actors: Voranc Boh/Rok Kunaver, Jan Bučar, Lovro Finžgar, Klemen Janežič, Iztok Lužar/Daniel Petković, Matevž Müller, Dušan Teropšič
Lighting Design: Andrej Hajdinjak
Video Animation: Jure Lavrin
Stage Manager and Sound Designer: Luka Bernetič
Lights: Kristjan Vidner
Set technician: Klemen Sašek
Puppets, costumes and set production: Zoran Srdić, Iztok Bobić, Polona Černe, Zala Kalan, Sandra Birjukov, Marjeta Valjavec, Hana Juta Kozar, Michelle Wren, Špela Ulaga, Zlatko Djogić, Lara Mastnak, Mark Nikolič, Ana Johana Scholten, Rok Hrovatin, Anja Vasiljević, Petra Koželj, Eva Trampuš, Katarina Tadina, Helene Koch, Uroš Mehle s. p., Vladson
Photographer: Jaka Varmuž
Producers: Ana Rokvić Pinterič, Alja Cerar Mihajlović