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Israel GalvánLa Consagración de la Primavera (Rite of Spring)


In golden light, a man with short dark hair, wearing a long black shirt over a full black skirt, looks upwards, his arms forming a sinuous s-shape: the right arm is twisted elbow up, hand pointing downwards, the left arm is lifted in a curve, the hand pointing upwards.

“He is a Barbarian endowed with every commodity” said Debussy of his friend Stravinsky. And indeed, reaching the right blend of science and savagery may be the major difficulty when it comes to Rite of Spring. As prompted Leonard Bernstein: “This piece used to be considered practically unplayable back in 1913 and through the 20s and into the 30s”. How does one tackle this mixture of brute force and refinement, of telluric quakes and melodies? How to apprehend these rhythms so foreign to Western music and puzzled even Pierre Boulez? On what undiscovered part of the globe can these – sometimes creaky – tributes to folkloric Slavic music be taken?

Everyone remembers the outrage when the work first premiered with the Ballets Russes at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées: a pitched battle… spiraling into a battle with no pitch at all – and becoming one of the greatest artistic scandals of the 20th Century. Yet in spite of its famed difficulty, the music echoes a pulsation so profound, so primary that Rite of Spring has eventually become a classic of both music and dance, inspiring choreographers as diverse as Martha Graham, Maurice Béjart, Pina Bausch, Angelin Preljocaj…

Israel Galván destabilizes with a regularity of his own, offering shows both joyous and austere, provoking without any deliberate provocation all sorts of shivers and quakes. The expression of a freedom both inspired as ingenuous, and of a trajectory which cultivates continuity in ruptures, and logically pursues its course with Stravinsky. Guided by the two pianists, Galván is seen here for the first time confronted to a music score… Which does mean not that everything is already written. To these three intrepid artists, to these seekers of untold stories, Rite of Spring offers the most seductive dangers. And they are set on exposing the musical colossus to reveal its freaky bones, which defy all laws of musical anatomy. Moreover, they’re trying to recapture the essence, the music before the paper. Finding novelty, while respecting the text will thus be a new kind of madness… (Lola Gruber)

About Israel Galván

Israel Galván de los Reyes stands out for proposing an expressive language of his own, not only as a dancer, but also as a scenic creator. A language, unknown until now in flamenco dancing, based on fragmentations, mixtures and sums of gestures.

Winner of the National Dance Award 2005 (in the Creation category) granted by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, “for his ability to generate in an art like flamenco a new creation without forgetting the true roots that have sustained it to this day and that constitute it as a universal genre,” he has also received other awards during his career, such as in 2012 a Bessie Award and the Medalla de Oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes. In 2016, he was appointed Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France by the French Ministry of Culture. He has also received a number of other awards during his career, including a total of six Premios Max de Artes Escénicas and the Barcelona Critics’ Award in 2014 and 2018. In 2021 his production Maestro de Barra received two Bessie awards.

The son of the Sevillian flamenco dancers José Galván and Eugenia de Los Reyes, from the age of five he began to experience the atmosphere of the flamenco venues, parties and dance academies where his father took him. But it was not until 1990 that he found his vocation for dancing.

In 1994, he joined the recently created Compañía Andaluza de Danza, directed by Mario Maya, beginning an unstoppable career. In 1998, he presented ¡Mira! / Los Zapatos Rojos [Look ! The Red Shoes], the first show by his own company, which was praised as brilliant by all the specialist critics, and represented a revolution in the conception of flamenco shows.

That was followed by: La Metamorfosis (2000); Galvánicas (2002); Arena (2004); La Edad de Oro (2005); Tábula Rasa (2006); Solo (2007); El Final de Este Estado de cosas, Redux (2008); La Curva (2010); Lo Real / Le Réel / The Real (2012), a particular reflection on the gypsy holocaust under the Nazi regime; FLA.CO.MEN (2014); Torobaka (2014), a collaboration between him and Akram Khan; La Fiesta (2017); Coplas Mecánicas (2018), together with El Niño de Elche; Gatomaquia (2018); and Israel & イスラエル (Israel) (2019), the product of a two-year collaboration with YCAM | Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media. Also in 2019, he premiered El Amor Brujo with David Lagos and Alejandro Rojas-Marcos, and Stravinsky’s La Consagración de la Primavera / The Rite of Spring. In 2020 again with El Niño de Elche he premiered a new production, Mellizo Doble. In 2021 during the pandemic he conceived and interpreted a short movie Maestro de Barra. In July 2022 he presented a new work, Seises, at Grec Festival in Barcelona, including the children’s choir of Escolania de Monserrat.

Israel Galván is also featured in a Netflix docuseries about dance called Move. He is an associated artist at Le Théâtre de la Ville, Paris.

Artistic Team & Credits

Concept and Choreography Israel Galván
Dance Israel Galván
Piano Daria van den Bercken & Gerard Bouwhuis
Music “Le Sacre du Printemps” by Igor Stravinsky (reduction for piano for four hands by the composer, here with two pianos), “Sonata K87” by Domenico Scarlatti, “Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues” by Frederic Rzewski
Light Designer Ruben Camacho
Sound Designer & Technical Director Pedro León
Costumes Micol Notarianni
Stage Manager Balbi Parra
Management Rosario Gallardo
Distribution Rial & Eshelman
Production Israel Galván Company
Co-produced by Théâtre de la Ville – Paris, Sadler’s Wells – London, Mû-Lausanne, Théâtre de Nîmes, Scène conventionnée d’intérêt national – art et création – Danse contemporaine, Teatro della Pergola – Fondazione Teatro della Toscana – Florence, MA scène nationale – Pays de Montbéliard, Théâtre de Vidy-Lausanne
With the support of INAEM-Instituto Nacional de las Artes Escénicas y de la Música,  La Loterie Romande, Pro Helvetia, Fondation suisse pour la culture du Canton de Vaud, Fondation Leenaards, Flamenco Biënnale Nederland