Joffrey Ballet: The Rite of Spring

While Igor Stravinsky’s monumental work Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) is most often performed today as an orchestral concert work, he originally conceived it as a ballet, with sets and costumes designed by Nicholas Roerich, and choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky.  The following YouTube videos are from a full production by the Joffrey Ballet, and is an attempt to recreate the original choreography and scenery from the premier in 1913.  The video quality is not great, as I’m sure this digital version was transferred from a public television broadcast.  To my knowledge, a commercial recording is not available for purchase.  Horn players are familiar with the demanding orchestral parts, but this video highlights the incredible demands placed on the dancers as well.  The soloist in the “Sacrificial Dance” is particularly amazing.  It’s also very informative to see what’s supposed to be going on onstage during Stravinsky’s music.    Enjoy!

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Thanks for sharing these videos. The infamous riot at the premiere makes more sense when you get an idea of what the choreography/costumes/sets looked like.


You’re very welcome, but the thanks really goes to whomever posted the original videos on YouTube. And yes, the choreography with turned-in toes and such would have been quite offensive to turn of the 20th century audiences in Paris.


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