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Goberdhan Blog 5.

In “100 years Ago Today, ‘The Rite of Spring’ incited a riot in a Paris Theater”, our author talks about the infamous riot that took place in 1913 in a theater during a ballet composed by Igor Stvinsky. The author says how researchers are not sure what exactly was behind it, like social warfare or a contemporary movement. Toward the middle of the ballet, the author states how people in the audience were catcalling so loud, that the ballets couldn’t hear the orchestra. Therefore, the composer exchanged words with those who were catcalling from the stage and that sparked an argument. Soon after, about 40 people were escorted out, which caused somewhat of a brutal scene. After all of that, the ballet continued to the end.

However, according to “Did Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring incite a riot at its premiere?”, there is a ton of doubt and speculation about the riot, especially when they reveal that the riot never happened. The article states how there was never a riot, but just an exchange of words over aristocrats and critics because the critics did not admire how the aristocrats viewed the derogatory performance about racism. As stated, “The disrespectful behavior of the aristocrats appalled the critics, musicians, and music lovers, so they responded by complaining and insulting the aristocrats”. The text explains how the verbal arguments went down, but no fight let alone a riot. The text also states, “Despite these verbal assaults, the earliest accounts of that night do not mention any physical fights, much less a riot. Levitz cites several sources from the immediate aftermath of the premiere that compared the atmosphere to that of a contentious debate in Parliament or a criminal court trial—confrontational and impassioned, but not physically violent”. This goes to show that the feeling of suspense in the theater was compared to those of a courtroom. It was all just a verbal argumentation that went down, also, another play went on to play after that which the author says “ …the evening’s entertainment continued with another ballet, Carl Maria von Weber’s Le Spectre de la rose, also choreographed by Nijinsky. That wouldn’t seem possible if the altercation was as destructive as it’s been construed”. As you can see, the author explains how another ballet would not have happened if 40 people were ejected plus a riot. 

When I first heard this ballet for myself, I thought it was very harsh to the ear with a very different style of choreography. I also quickly realized why everyone says this piece goes against all elements of music. However, I still believe this could be passed on as music for it has elements of instruments and it can be danced to. Is it the most pleasant form of music however? I don’t think so. Finally, if I was in that audience i would have most likely been slightly irritated by the music, but I would have sat there and kept my mouth shut, waiting for the next performance.

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July 2024

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