In May of 1913, the choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky premiered a ballet that culminated in a riot. The ballet, “The Rite of Spring,” was set to Igor Stravinsky’s notoriously finicky score, which tremors and thrums like something buried, vengeful, underground. Over the course of the performance, Nijinsky’s cast enacted two sacred rites; the first, a harvest celebration, and the second, the ritual sacrifice of the Chosen One, a virginal maiden commanded to dance until she dies. Stravinsky had composed the piece to evoke his family home in Russia, the wildness of village life, and the cyclical rites of harvest growth and winter death. Nijinsky dressed his cast of men and women dancers like medieval Russian villagers; long dresses and tunics, white tights crossed by oxblood ribbons, knee-grazing braids and painted pale faces.
Misty Copeland, Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo in ”AfteRite.” Photograph by Marty Sohl.
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading