John Sheldon

John Sheldon

Posted on 05/22/2013


Photo taken on April 15, 2013


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Keywords

Ballet
Stravinsky
Rite of Spring
Le Sacre du Printemps
Ballets Russes


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Cent ans du Le Sacre du Printemps – 100 years of The Rite of Spring – The Coronation of Spring – Vesna Svyashchennaya - Весна Священная - Pictures from Pagan Russia

Cent ans du Le Sacre du Printemps – 100 years of The Rite of Spring – The Coronation of Spring – Vesna Svyashchennaya - Весна Священная - Pictures from Pagan Russia
Listen at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oatJL7Trmys
The ballet Rite (or Coronation) of Spring by Igor Stravinsky, Nicolas Roerich and Vaslav Nijinsky was first performed in Paris in May 1913. As well as provoking a riot, it seismically shifted the direction of Western music.
The scene is Pagan Russia, tribes of people come together to carry out ceremonies, venerate their ancestors and elders and choose a young girl who will have the honour of dancing herself to death to ensure a good harvest.
In my picture the spring growth, dancing wildly in the wind, sprouts from the music score of the Sacrificial Dance and the ground is symbolically stained red.
The message, in 1913 and 2013, is that no matter how sophisticated your industry and technology is, if the harvest fails you are in trouble. The ballet reflects a time when people were so aware of this that they were prepared to sacrifice something of utmost value to ensure a good harvest. We lose contact with the soil that feeds us at our peril.
There are about 100 recordings of this music currently available, countless more archive recordings. Encountering it in my mid-teens, I abandoned rock and pop music as just too tame.

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