The Rite of Spring: A starting point.

The jumping off point for the University of Dayton’s "Rites. Rights. Writes." initiative is the Rite of Spring, a ballet premiered by Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes [Russian Ballet] with music composed by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. 2013 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of its first performance in Paris, when it caused a near riot in the audience. Also known by its French title, Le sacre du printemps, this work shocked audiences primarily because of its avant-garde dance by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes company. The concept for the dance, however, came directly from Stravinsky’s subtitle for the concept of his music: Pictures of Pagan Russia in Two Parts. The "rite" witnessed in this work was an ancient one imagined by the creative directors of this initial premiere: after various primitive rituals celebrating the advent of spring, a young girl is chosen as a sacrificial victim and dances herself to death. The power of art to confront has seldom been so clear.

Keeping Score: A Riotous Premiere.

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony are featured in this interactive site, which explores and includes a performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. Follow the score and see a reconstruction of Vaslav Nijinsky's choreography for the original ballet, with insights from both the conductor and musicians. Also hear an interview about the reconstruction of the ballet and costumes with dance historians Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer.

Learn more (www) >>


NPR's Performance Today: Milestones of the Millennium.

Hear Performance Today’s host Lisa Simeone and commentator Thomas Kelly discuss the scandalous premiere of Stravinsky’s great score and how it changed music forever. Harvard University professor Kelly suggests that one of the reasons that the Paris premiere created such a furor was that it shattered everyone's expectations. Learn more (www) >>


Hear It Live.

You can hear a live performance of the Rite of Spring this fall at the Schuster Center. Stravinsky’s ground-breaking work will be on the program each of three nights this fall when the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra takes the stage September 26-28. Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra (www) >>