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Blog 5 Roman

In the article, “100 years ago today, ‘The Rite of Spring’ incited a riot in a Paris theater”; written by Amar Toor, goes on to illustrate how The Rite of Spring would be known as a memorable, crucial but brutal ballet performance. This performance not only opened individuals’ eyes to its modernism but it would shed away from the traditional works of orchestral ballet that others were fond of. Though this would go on to leave an incredible impression on that of “jazz, minimalism, and other contemporary movements”. When trying to clarify what really took place on the date of May 29, 1913  it is still an ongoing debate till today but one thing is for sure when it comes to the Stravinsky opening it did indeed end in madness. An uproar of laughter led from the audience as the ballets would begin to play with the high pitches of the bassoon. As the instrument would gradually get louder so would the tension of other individuals within the Theater. As the dancers came in dressed within their “whimsical costumes” the performers went on to dance odd and harsh movements. Due to the excessive shouts and calls to the stage it led to the commands being too low for the performers to hear their ques as a result it would lead to Nijinsky having to shout them backstage for all. However, within the crowd a disagreement had broken out between two parties within the audience, thus  leading to having vegetables and various things being thrown at the stage. Due to how disturbing the dance has been categorized as many feel as though this was all part of a public stunt. As stated many feel as though these stories containing the “neat riot” have become overly exaggerated to what had really occurred that day. 

In the article, “Did Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring incite a riot at its premiere?”; written by  Linda Shaver-Gleason, Depicts what really took place of the day of May 29, 1913 at héâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris.As expected this ballet was suppose to depict the “ ritual sacrifice in prehistoric Russia”. What was supposed to be considered a cultural event due to the talented individuals taking place within this event. Unfortunately, nothing was what the audience expected from this ballet as the “ the costumes were ugly, the choreography heavy, and the music harsh”. When it came to the fact of supporting this ballet there were many who were shocked but for a plausible reason and others who just booed this performance. Although this didn’t stop others from trying to defend their involvement in ballet. This led to many insults being yelled as it soon led to the performers being unable to hear the music. Due to the continuation of this argument it would have led to a fight that broke out. However, in reality the riot never actually happened. The event that occurred during the premiere of The Rite was the harsh sounds from the ballet did take place but Stavinsky Felt as though the location of the audience really affected each of them differently especially when it came to those on the balcony that gave it an over all exaggerated effect. Beside the “verbal assaults” that did take place none happened where it was physical. After the premiere many individuals were intrigued but mainly confused by how unusual the music sounded. As one does they did receive backlash where they had to go respond back in interviews explaining the great amount of hard work that went into this production. The Myth had originated from the 1915 quote, “eyewitness Carl van Vechten, who claimed that a man sitting behind him “beat rhythmically on the top of my head with his fists.” Many believe the myth persists because it no longer gives classical music a perspective that it is boring but people actually started a riot over this type of particular music. 

When it came to watching this ballet for the first time I can say I was greatly intrigued but shocked at the exact time as it was not what I expected to see from the sight of what they were wearing. But nonetheless I found it very interesting on how the performers moved along with the harsh music.  If I was in the audience in 1913, I feel I would be modified in the beginning if it was something I never saw before. I feel as though with both the music and dancing  it would draw my attention to which I would not want to look away. I would mainly try to figure out what is happening.

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June 2024

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