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Rite talking

Posted on January 30, 2013


As part of a year-long festival dedicated to 20th century music, London’s Southbank Centre is holding a number of talks and film shows relating to Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.


The events take place around a series of orchestral concerts, and will help set the music in historical context. In the Function Room on Level 5 of the Royal Festival Hall on February 10, Stephanie Jordan will talk about Vaslav Nijinsky’s choreography for The Rite of Spring and Bronislava Nijinska’s for Les Noces; and Jane Pritchard will lecture on Serge Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. Oxford University’s Jonathan Cross will explore the impact of the arrival of Stravinsky on the Parisian cultural scene in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on February 9. The Southbank Centre will also be screening the film Riot at The Rite, which dramatises the infamous premiere of The Rite of Spring.

These events, and much more, take place during the weekend of February 9 to 10, and form part of the “Paris” section of The Rest is Noise season that looks at works such as Rite, as well as other ballets written and performed in Paris during the years 1910 to 1930. An orchestral performance of The Rite of Spring, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will be given by the London Philharmonic Orchestra on February 16 to celebrate its centenary. To find out more, or to book tickets, visit

Pictured above are dancers of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in the original 1913 production of The Rite of Spring.

Jonathan Gray is editor of Dancing Times. He studied at The Royal Ballet School, Leicester Polytechnic, and Wimbledon School of Art where he graduated with a BA Hons in Theatre Design. For 16 years he was a member of the curatorial department of the Theatre Museum, London, assisting on a number of dance-related exhibitions, and helping with the recreation of original designs for a number of The Royal Ballet’s productions including Danses concertantes, Daphnis and Chloë, and The Sleeping Beauty. He has also contributed to the Financial Times, written programme articles for The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet, and is co-author of the book Unleashing Britain: Theatre gets real 1955-64, published in 2005.

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