20.15 - 20.28 at your home
Award winning choreographer Seeta Patel reimagines this iconic ballet in the powerful classical Indian dance style Bharatanatyam. Igor Stravinsky’s avant-garde score stunned Paris audiences when it debuted in 1913 and has been hugely influential ever since. Rite of Spring was scheduled to be the opening of the India Dance Festival 2020.
Instead of the live version, Seeta Patel has created a short documentary about the creation process, specially for the online edition of the festival. This film will premiere on Saturday 9 May at the Facebook Event of the India Dance Festival and can be watched exclusively at the festival until 1 June.
Patel brings out the more lyrical, romantic elements of Stravinsky’s score…instead of an earthy, ominous Rite, through Patel’s eyes the scene is dreamy, the stage glowing (there is lovely lighting from Warren Letton), hand gestures look like plants growing, nature abundant in a place of warmth and wonder.
Patel quickly seizes on the raw, percussive energy of Stravinsky’s chugging music. As the cast of six stamp out its rhythms, it feels like the two very different forms were meant for each other. The dance is energetic, full of intricate footwork and gesture, and of geometric patterns that come and go with ease as the dancers weave around each other…Patel’s Rite is a fascinating diversion from the usual take on the story. It also looks gorgeous thanks to Warren Letton’s lighting and Jason and Anshu Arora’s quirky costumes.
…then The Rite of Spring began and it was fabulous. Peacock-eye fingers jabbed out from thrusting arms, bare feet thumped the floor and bodies prowled the stage in strict geometric formations that carried a powerful emotional drive. The musicality was delicious, and the unified sense of purpose was palpable.
Patel has created an authentic dance piece that is truly fresh and original. Her aim to bring Bharatanatyam into a modern age alongside contemporary dance is undoubtedly a success…exploring this new medium through an adapted version of The Rite of Spring is thoroughly enjoyable.
A younger theatre
…this is a luscious piece of art…Patel’s work embraces the percussive stamping of Bharatanatyam…at times her choreography weaves the dancers in and out of patterns like a murmuration of starlings…given his unconventional approach to ballet, I feel sure Nijinsky would approve.
The dancers were supremely tight as a unit and performed with relentless energy, intensity and focus. Their small hand gestures were like visual imagist poetry in suggesting new life… Seeta Patel is certainly onto something in looking at such exciting cultural fusions.
Stunning and visually enticing.
The Reviews Hub