More than a century later its power remains intact, as does its magnetic attraction to all manner of choreographers. Almost anybody who was somebody in 20th-century choreography tried his or her hand at putting steps to Stravinsky's masterpiece; and so it continues well into the 21st century.
So, in less than one year Sadler's Wells is bringing London audiences no fewer than five readings of The Rite of Spring. So far, all have brought something new and thrilling to Stravinsky's score, none more so than flamenco innovator Israel Galván's exhilarating La Consagración de la Primavera. We also saw a fascinating Senegalese performance of Pina Bausch's seminal Rite, and veteran Swedish choreographer Mats Ek's complete reworking for English National Ballet.
With Dada Masilo's interpretation still to come, this procession of Rites culminates in early March with bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Seeta Patel's own East-meets-West version.
Seeta Patel has been working on The Rite of Spring for several years, and the piece coming to Sadler's Wells (which co-commissioned it) is an expanded version of her 2019 work now in collaboration with the full Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO), which will perform Stravinsky’s score live under the baton of its chief conductor, Kirill Karabits.
The classical South Indian dance form of bharatanatyam, normally seen in solo presentations, is danced in this production by an ensemble of 12 dancers, and Patel goes on to subvert tradition by assigning the role of The Chosen One to a male dancer – elevating him to a deity to whom all sacrifice themselves.
Seeta Patel loosely follows Stravinsky's musical narrative, but by choreographing it in a South Indian dance form she seeks to explore the work's spiritual dimension through an Eastern philosophical lens.
British Sign Language Interpreted Post-Show Talk on Monday 13 March.
|What||Seeta Patel Dance, The Rite of Spring, Sadler's Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
13 Mar 23 – 14 Mar 23, 19:30 Dur.: TBC
|Price||£15-£55 (+booking fee)|
|Website||Click here to book|