The Rite of Spring

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Dance Critique: The Rite of Spring

The Rite of Spring was choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, a Russian dancer and choreographer. He joined The Imperial School of Ballet in 1900 and was later the lead dancer of the Ballet Russes. He eventually choreographed many works, one of them being Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) in 1913. He “exceeded the limits of traditional ballet” and the Rite was an example of this. In 1919 he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent the rest of his life in and out of hospitals until he died in London on April 8, 1950. The Rite of Spring was performed by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes on May 29th, 1913 at the Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris. It was later remade by the Joffrey Ballet in
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I think Nijinsky decided to use the circle dancing as his spatial configuration because the circles allowed for more use of the stage and it symbolizes the rituals of natives are all connected during their celebrations and sacrifices. By having the males and females separated Nijinsky made a strong statement that I believe is that the only thing that brings the sexes together is their important ritual of sacrifice. For most of the performance, the dancers were in unison. This helps the audience capture everything that is occurring. It allows the crowd to focus their attention on the important aspect of the performance instead of trying to go back and forth from one side of the stage to another. The spectators can also appreciate the movement of the dancers more if they are in unison. It also helped Nijinsky show what he felt was important in the performance if everyone was doing the same thing. There were some instances that the dancers were so n’sync that they looked like robots. The moves that they made seemed simples, for example, their stomping didn’t seem complicated but to do it at the same time looked very complex and harder. Najinsky showed in The Rite of Spring that these performances could be about normal people and their traditions instead of fantasy. The dancers were hunched over and close to the ground and loose with their bodies which is more
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