Friday, 8 October 2010

The Real Story to the Rite of Spring

I've decided to talk about something that was related to music:
One of these talks will be about one of Igor Stravinsky's favorite pieces of music, The Rite of Spring. The truth is, I'm a fan of Igor Stravinsky's music - I think they're unique and I love it of its strong force he uses in his music and how sometimes it can be beautiful. Earlier this year, I went to the Royal Opera House in London and I saw one of Stravinsky's music named The Rake's Progress and I thought it was great although it was a little bit repetitive with just singing all the way through - but its an opera and that's the whole point.
But, one of my main talks is about the REAL story to the piece of music on Stravinsky's 1913 production, The Rite of Spring - some of you animation fans may be familiar with the music from the Walt Disney film Fantasia in which Walt adapted the piece into a musical story with the evolution and growth of Earth, with the dinosaurs and its extinction which I think is a great adaptation but that was not Stravinsky's original story idea.
I'll tell the original storyline and there are some of the original Rite of Spring paintings by Nicholas Roerich, and it was originally split into two parts:
The story was originally about a village and it was Harvest season I think and then I think a girl brought in the wrong harvest food and then all the villagers sent her to meet the The Oldest and Wisest One. So the Oldest and Wisest One wanted to sacrifice her and she was sentenced to death - and the death penalty was that she had to dance to her death - and she had to dance furiously until she finally collapsed and died, that was her sacrifice.

(One of the original scenarios and dances in it - not taken in 1913!!)
Stravinsky originally wrote it as a ballet - and its had quite a bit of history: On the Rite of Spring's original premiere on 29 May 1913 in Paris, France - and everyone who attended came in their smart uniforms and with their fruit and they thought they were going to see a lovely ballet with pretty music and angels dancing - and when it begun and then the curtains rose with its original costumes and the audience didn't like it and when the music was played - it actually caused a riot and everyone was booing and leaving the audience and they had to close the curtains to finish it and even the French police had to arrive to stop it because at the time it was so bad. The scenario and its music shocked the audiences and its one of the most famous music riots in history.
Although, at the time nobody had heard this type of music before and it was all so different at the time - and nowadays its considered as one of the greatest classical pieces of music of all time - although it took a while to find its audience and there's a great video of it in Part One, Part Two and Part Three in YouTube and in it was the original scenario and original costumes and its great! Before that they used to perform it but they performed it in the nude!
Anyway, that's my talks done - I know it sort of feels rushed but I was trying...


Anonymous said...

I'm amazed by this ballet...
Could you please say where the picture comes from? -which company, date, place of venue...
Thanks a lot!!!

Steven Hartley said...

Ah, Anonymous person - I just found the picture from Google images - and I really don't know where it comes from.

But, the original designs and costumes of the original "Rite of Spring" ballet are available on YouTube in three parts - and no, not the Disney's Fantasia "Rite of Spring".