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Le Sacre du Printemps Premiered May 29, 1913. Le Sacre du Printemps or The Rite of Spring follows the story of a pagan Russian sacrifice ritual. The music was composed by Igor #Stravinsky; #choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky; and concept, set design and costumes by Nicholas #Roerich. It was produced by Sergei #Diaghilev for his Ballets Russes ballet company and had its premiere in Paris on May 29, 1913 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
The premiere involved one of the most famous classical #music riots in history. The intensely rhythmic score and primitive scenario and choreography shocked the audience that was accustomed to the elegant conventions of classical #ballet.
The complex music and violent #dance steps depicting fertility rites first drew catcalls and whistles from the crowd. At the start, some members of the audience began to boo loudly. There were loud arguments in the audience between supporters and opponents of the work. These were soon followed by shouts and fistfights in the aisles. The unrest in the audience eventually degenerated into a riot. The Paris police arrived by intermission, but they restored only limited order. After the premiere, Diaghilev is reported to have commented to Nijinsky and Stravinsky at dinner that the scandal was "exactly what I wanted." After nine performances by the #BalletsRusses, Nijinsky's ballet was not produced again. His #choreography was documented only in contemporary written eye-witness accounts, in photographs, and in detailed notes preserved by the English ballet director Marie #Rambert.
Although Nijinsky's choreography was poorly preserved, his choreography and Roerich's costuming and set design were reconstructed in 1987 by dance historian Millicent Hodson, art historian Kenneth Archer, and choreographer Robert Joffrey, for performance by the Joffrey Ballet.
Since Nijinsky's original version, some 180 choreographies have been created to the score of The Rite of Spring. The second version was created in 1920 by Leonide #Massine, again for the Ballets Russes. It was based on the original scenario by #Roehrich and used the sets and costumes of the 1913 premier production.
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