An explosion of fierce dance feroç, carnal and utterly magnetic
“Composers combine notes, that’s all”
Igor Stravinsky. Conversations with Igor Stravinsky, by Robert Craft
More than a hundred years after the premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in 1913 at the Théâtre des Champs Elysees in Paris by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, it is now considered one of the masterpieces in the history of music.
The Mariinsky Theatre of St Petersburg invited Sasha Waltz to perform this extraordinary score, so symbolic in the history of dance. An archaic composition, full of tension and characterised by an accentuated rhythm and multiplicity of textures and obstinate musical motifs. Its dissonances have made the work one of the most famous pieces of music of the modern avant-garde and most representative of the 20th century.
Sasha Waltz, who had previously done research on rituals and group dynamics with works such as Medea (2007) and Continu (2010), immerses herself in Sacre with this reflection: “For a long time, I have been interested in archaic myths that conjure the power and great order of nature. In today’s highly technologised world, the forces of nature have been reduced to appearing almost exclusively in the form of catastrophe. Rituals, on the other hand, show the cyclical structure of nature and address humanity’s relationship to its origins. Belief and connection to a higher order are strengthened; the individual sacrifices himself for the good of the community. The choreography of Stravinsky’s Sacre gives me the opportunity to devote an entire piece to this material.”
The proposal for Sacre is fierce, carnal, vigorous, chaotic and utterly magnetic: an explosion of twenty-eight dancers of all ages generates enormous turbulence on stage. They celebrate the arrival of spring, when a young girl is chosen as a sacrificial victim and must dance to the death. Alarmism, anxiety, fear... a drama that keeps the audience attentive to the nakedness of the victim, who dances in agony until her strength gives out. A macabre dance that cannot heal the imperturbable vital cracks in the community’s decision.
Sacre is presented at the Gran Teatre del Liceu as a session in three parts. After the anguish and anxiety recreated in Sacre, we encounter the serenity of Claude Debussy’s L’après-midi d’un faune and the calm, loving peace of Scène d’amour from Hector Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette. Three well contrasted creations that reveal multiple facets of human nature, through humanity’s rebelling lights and shadows.
Patron of the Dance Circle
With the support of:
Sacre (The Rite of Spring)
Based on Russian Paganism with the original choreography by Vatslav Nijinski
World premiere: 28/05/1913 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris
Barcelona premiere: 22/03/1928 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Concert Version)
Last Liceu performance: 10/09/2008
Total number of Liceu performances: 18
- Approximate running time 1h 30min
- Direction and choreography
- Sasha Waltz
- Ígor Stravinski Le Sacre du Printemps
- Costume design
- Bernd Skodzig
- Set design
- Pia Maier Schriever i Sasha Waltz
- Thilo Reuther
- Rehearsal choreography
- Antonio Ruz
- Sasha Waltz & Guests
- Teatre Mariïnsky de St. Petersburg and Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie in Bruxelles
- Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu
- Josep Pons