Rite of Spring

In: Other Topics

Submitted By dcolon2
Words 546
Pages 3
Diamante Colon
06 December 2015
DNCE 111 01

Final Paper
Pina Bausch’s “Rite of Spring”

Pina Bausch was German choreographer who was one of the greater influences in postwar European dance. Many of these pieces didn't look like dance works, in that there was little "dancing". Instead, the performers often dressed as for some formal event, to sentimental tunes, or enacted dream-like scenarios, which often involved sexual violence.

Bausch's 1975, Rite of Spring, dancing to Stravinksy's music to its most primitive logic by covering the stage in thick dark earth soil and by choreographing on a huge scale. The piece is set in a school hall where the boys had spiky-haired and unison in suits and ties, their faces stuck on the girls in pastel satin evening gowns. Some 32 dancers confront each other in thudding convulsive groups, ranked across a sexual divide. Hopeful of connection, they stalk one another to a soundtrack of sappy 1930s songs. Their movements are purposeful, measured and spectral. A young woman has hysterics as the rest of the cast stare resentfully at the audience. As they unite in great wheeling circles then scatter into a collective frenzy of coupling Bausch makes it appear as though they are stimulated by some savage, biological imperative. As they run and fall, dirt smears their sweaty bodies. By the time the chosen maiden is led towards her sacrificial solo and she seems to be only thing standing against her tribe and their absolute terror of extinction. Her dread and her ecstasy left the audience shaking. By the end of the piece, the dancers are covered with sweat and dirt and heavy panting.

The music of The Rite of Spring possesses such a graphic quality. Its climaxes, its sudden stops and rhythms and instruments, spurs the choreographers to impose their own narratives. The instruments seem to battle one another like singers…...

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