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Yi Blog 5

The author of “100 years ago today, ‘The Rite of Spring’ incited a riot in a Paris theater”, first starts off with a quick explanation of the piece “The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky. The author states how the piece today is considered a work of modernism with its frenetic, jagged orchestral ballet that boldly rejected the ordered harmonies and comfort of traditional composition. He then adds how the piece had left a mark ​​on jazz, minimalism, and other contemporary movements. The debut of “The Rite of Spring” in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées caused a great commotion. The show started with a meandering and eerily high-pitched bassoon solo, followed by a group of dancers dressed in whimsical costumes, the dancers performed bizarre and violent moves. This irritated a large portion of the audience causing the audience to engage in a scuffle and fight with one another. With this performance, Stravinsky was subjected to harsh criticism due to his introduction of a new form of art that used harsh dissonance, complex rhythms, and repetitive melodies. The author of “Did Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring incite a riot at its premiere?”, argues that the riot had never happened and it was all just misunderstanding and exaggeration of the events. He shares how the accounts of the riot came from the balcony, but The balcony of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées was exceptionally resonant allowing sound from the orchestra to bounce off concrete walls. He shares how it is likely for the walls to have amplified the sounds from the orchestra creating a misconception of chaos on the lower level. He then goes on to share how the fight that occurred was not about the art form but more about the aristocrats and politics. The author states, “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.” With the evidence, he manages to disprove accounts of violence and brutality that were claimed to occur. The first time I watched the ballet I found it interesting due to the unique dancing. Unlike what I normally know about ballet the one performed in this video was unique. The dance moves did not seem very refined but instead rough around the edges. The dance sequence incorporated a lot of jumping up and down, left to right, and collapses. If I was an audience in 1913 I would have been shocked by this new display of movements that I was not yet used to or familiar with.

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March 2023

This course includes Open Educational Resources (OER), which are entirely cost-free and accessible online. Developed in the Open Knowledge Fellowship at The Graduate Center's Mina Rees Library, this work is made possible by state grant funding through the Office of Library Services.

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