A Rite

In this celebration of milestones, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and SITI Company celebrate their combined 50 years of artistic achievements with the centennial of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

In A Rite, dancers and actors alike burst onto to the stage feet stomping, knees quivering – a complex and knowing homage to Nijinsky’s original “Sacrificial Maiden” choreographic motif – to the beat of drums and the strum of strings in Stravinsky’s composition that energized and shocked audiences 100 years ago at its premiere in Paris. Since then, The Rite of Spring has taken on legendary status as a symbol of artistic insurrection and a cornerstone of the avant-garde.

In this work of dance-theater, the influence of chorales, Lithuanian folk-tunes and jazz on Stravinsky’s music is revealed. An impassioned scholar waxes poetic about the cyclical structure of Stravinsky’s work that, in turn, evokes questions about our place in space/time. A shell-shocked WWI veteran finds solace from his battle-scarred psyche in the work’s opening chords while reeling under the relentless assault of The Augurs’ bombastic percussion. Each of us is implicated in his crisis.

A Rite is an intriguing and powerful collaboration between artists Bill T. Jones, Anne Bogart and their companies joining minds, bodies, and voices to offer a fête of Stravinsky’s incendiary work and its cultural resonance. 

A Rite was commissioned by Carolina Performing Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A Rite was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional commissioning support provided by: The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.