The Rite of Spring

Dance 21.9–27.9

Book tickets

The Rite of Spring

Enjoy world-class dance: Pontus Lidberg returns with a new work celebrating the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky´s The Rite of Spring.

Today,The Rite of Spring is considered one of the 20th century's most important musical works. But it was not always so. At its première in 1913, it caused an enormous uproar. The conductor loathed it, the musicians broke down in nervous hysterics and its first audience caused such a ruckus that the police were forced to step in. In just a short time, however, the work gained cult status and Stravinsky had his revenge.

To celebrate the centenary of The Rite of Spring, choreographer Pontus Lidberg has created a work entitled Snow. The choreography (performed to Stravinsky's original score as played by NorrlandsOperan Symphony Orchestra) stands in quite strong contrast to the fairly violent, grandiose music.

“I have used the music without referring to its history in any way,” Lidberg explains. “I wanted to create an antithesis; something fragile and poetic. For me, Snow is about the fragility of being human; about events in life that we must confront, whether we want to or not – like the passing of time and the inexorable force of nature.

World-class dancers, including Lidberg himself, will take the stage together with puppets. “Puppets have a special quality that can make then even more human than humans themselves; fragile and somewhat helpless,” says Lidberg.

When Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) was first hired by the Russian ballet in Paris, he was a young and quite unknown composer. He had a completely new way of writing music and in the ballet The Rite of Spring, in particular, Stravinsky experimented boldly with both tonality, rhythm and musical time. He envisioned a pagan rite in which wise old men sat in a circle, observing a young girl who danced herself to death to appease the god of spring.

But in Snow, Lidberg is not interested in investigating the ritual elements that are embedded in the well-known composition. Instead, he uses the powerful music as a counterweight to the delicate, introspective and somewhat humorous choreography he has written for the dancers and for the puppets that have been made especially for the piece.

The evening begins in the concert hall with another work by Stravinsky –Petrushka– the music of which has been compared to Wagner's synthesis of the arts, albeit with a Russian touch; music, ballet, choreography and history in perfect balance.


ACT 1 – CONCERT (40 min)
Igor Stravinskij: Petrushka

Conductor: Johannes Gustavsson
NorrlandsOperans Symfoniorkester

PAUS 25 min.

ACT 2 – DANCE – Snow (40 min)
Choreographer: Pontus Lidberg
Set design: Pontus Lidberg
Lighting design: Patrik Bogårdh
Puppet design and direction: Kevin Augustine, Lone Wolf Tribe
Music: Igor Stravinskij
Dancers: Lindsay Clark, David Lagerqvist, Yannick Matthon and Pontus Lidberg
Costume design: Reid Bartelme
Conductor: Johannes Gustavsson
NorrlandsOperans Symfoniorkester

Co-production: Pontus Lidberg Dance & NorrlandsOperan
Supported by: New York City Center & Swedish Arts Grants Commitee