Come Dance The 'Rite Of Spring' With Us!

May 10, 2013
Originally published on May 23, 2013 10:17 am

Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring turned Paris upside down upon its world premiere in Paris May 29, 1913 — and we're asking you to help us celebrate this groundbreaking work's centennial.

This one piece paved a new artistic path not just for musicians but for all kinds of other artists as well. In his press release for the Rite world premiere, impresario Serge Diaghilev promised that Vaslav Nijinsky's choregraphy for the Ballet Russes would "provide a new thrill that will doubtless inspire heated discussion." Well, it did far more than that. It set off a dance revolution. A century later, it's your turn to interpret this music for the here and now.

We're inviting professionals and the public alike to take the last minute of Stravinsky's inimitable score — in an exceptional performance by conductor Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra — and create a new video to go along with this music.

Two things to keep in mind:

  • Rule No. 1: You have to use the music above, and you have to leave the music alone, just as we've provided it. You can't sing over it, speak over it, play over it, create your own musical arrangement, or otherwise embellish the music in any way.
  • Rule No. 2: Upload your finished video to YouTube between now and May 28 using the tag #ritenpr — and we'll select some of the best submissions to feature here on NPR Music. (You can also share a link with us in the comments section of this page or tweet us @nprclassical.)

The rest is up to you. Dance, improvise movement, make a one-minute animated short: It's up to you. Dream big. Show us your creativity. Be playful, serious, witty, exuberant, whatever you want. (Keep it clean, though! And human sacrifice is strongly discouraged.)

In the days ahead, we'll be featuring some submissions to help inspire you. In the meantime, take a look at what some choreographers have historically done with Rite — and have fun! We can't wait to see what you come up with.

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