This semester, the Franklin & Marshall community celebrates the 100th anniversary of “The Rite of Spring,” the groundbreaking ballet and orchestral concert work by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. The ballet premiered at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris onMay 29, 1913, and its unconventional score and visceral choreography nearly sparked a riot among those in attendance. Today, Stravinsky’s work is considered to be a vital milestone in the history of ballet, and F&M is celebrating it with a series of events.
Film and live dance performance by the Flying Lions Dance Company
Ware Center at Millersville University (42 N. Prince St., Lancaster)
Join us for film excerpts of dance versions of “The Rite of Spring,” including choreographies by Vaslav Nijinsky, Pina Bausch and Maurice Bejart, followed by a dance performance by the Flying Lions Dance Company under the direction of Ting-Yu Chen, who created a new choreography of the Rite of Spring titled “Red Dress.” Set as a story within a story, “Red Dress” takes the audience into the backstage world of a dance company and its emotionally tortured dance leader. Afterward, Lynn Brooks, director of Dance at Franklin & Marshall College, will lead a discussion.
The Rite of Spring at 100
Barshinger Center for Musical Arts
Assistant Professor of Music Karen Leistra-Jones will lecture and the F&M Philharmonia and community musicians—under the direction of Brian Norcross—will perform selections from the score of “The Rite of Spring.”
How Diaghilev’s Legacy First Came to America: The Lifar collection, Balanchine and Chick Austin
Phillips Museum of Art
A lecture by Gene Gaddis, archivist, The Wadsworth Atheneum
Ballets Russes (The Russian Ballets) burst onto the scene in Paris in 1909 and ended with director Serge Diaghilev’s death in 1929. Combining the talents of contemporary composers, artists, dancers and choreographers, Diaghilev’s productions thrilled audiences on three continents. Among Diaghilev’s students was George Balanchine, who continued Diaghilev’s tradition of innovation through the New York City Ballet, which he founded in 1948 with Lincoln Kirstein (in 1933, Kirstein convinced Chick Austin, the director of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn., to sponsor Balanchine’s immigration to America). Archivist Gene Gaddis will bring this extraordinary story to life.
"Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky"
Brooks College House Great Room
A film by Jan Kounen, based on the novel by Chris Greenhalgh, with support of historically authentic costumes and settings and extensive archival research. The "Rite of Spring" premiere is the starting point of this story.
The Rite of Spring and Trans-Atlantic Modernism Art Exhibition
Phillips Museum of Art
This display features digital and photographic images exploring the wide-ranging artistic impact of “The Rite of Spring” and its role in forging an international modernist community in the early 20th century.
Brooks House Great Room
A lecture by Lynn Garafola, historian of dance
In this presentation, historian Lynn Garafalo argues that “The Rite of Spring,” because it is a lost ballet, comprises a body of ideas rather than a detailed choreographic script. “This conceptual freedom allows both for the ballet’s reinvention and for the persistence of ideas associated with the original,” she says. “With no standard choreographic text, the work ventures into realms the score alone cannot take it; it undergoes a process of reinvention that updates and transforms the work, even when the music remains untouched.”