When it premiered in Paris in 1913, Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, with choreography by Vaslav Nijinksy, was greeted with the vocal equivalent of rotten tomatoes.
“The people were so upset by the music and the choreography that they started screaming and shouting insults, and a riot ensued,” said Anne Bogart, artistic director of SITI Company, a theater ensemble based in New York City. “Not six months later, the music was being recognized as one of the greatest pieces of modern music ever.”
In Williamstown, the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance’s CenterSeries hosts the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Anne Bogart’s SITI Company as they join forces. These two celebrated companies examine The Rite of Spring, Igor Stravinsky’s groundbreaking masterpiece. His celebrated collaboration with choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky was so revolutionary at the time of its Paris premiere that it incited a riot, and “A Rite” attempts to imagine the consequences of hearing the piece played for the very first time, with a libretto that pulls from the diaries of World War I veterans, the writings of physicist Brian Greene and many other sources. There will be one performance only, at 8pm on Tuesday (March 17) at Williams College’s ’62 Center MainStage, located at 1000 Main Street, in Williamstown, MA. Tickets are $10; $3 students.