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Seeta Patel Dance The Rite of Spring

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Seeta Patel marries Indian classical dance and Western classical music in her The Rite of Spring, in a London premiere.

Taking the South Indian classical dance form of bharatanatyam, with its intricate rhythmic footwork, geometric and dynamic movements and expressive prowess, Seeta Patel has created a compelling interpretation of the iconic The Rite of Spring.

Patel will open the evening’s show with a solo performance accompanied by South Indian musicians. The piece shows bharatanatyam as it is often performed in a solo format, taking viewers on the journey of Mother Earth from birth to destruction, preparing for her deliverance through The Rite of Spring.

The second part of this evening offers a rare chance to see bharatanatyam performed in an ensemble piece. Unusually, this version subverts tradition by choosing a male as The Chosen One, elevating him to a deity to whom all sacrifice themselves. This is a spiritual exploration of the work through an Eastern philosophical lens.

With Stravinsky’s iconic score performed live by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and conductor Kirill Karabits, this is a Rite of Spring, but not as you know it.

Read ‘It’s a grief and a healing’: why dance-makers love The Rite of Spring.

Read the digital programme.

Music score by Igor Stravinsky

There will be a break between Acts 1 and 2 of Stravinsky’s score for a 4’ interlude featuring Carnatic vocals sung by Roopa Mahadevan, composed by the singer (edited by Julien Kottukapally) solely for this choreography.

All programmes state that the performances of the Work(s) are given by permission of Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Limited.

Header image © Foteini Christofilopoulou

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Seeta Patel Dance and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

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Since its controversial premiere at the Theatre de Champs Elysees in Paris in 1913 the Stravinsky score has become a rite of passage for most choreographers. We recently saw Pina Bausch’s interpretation performed by dancers from across the African continent and Mats Ek and Israel Galván will accept the challenge this autumn. In 2023 we look forward to a Bharatnatyam infused version by Seeta Patel and Dada Masilo’s interpretation not using the Stravinsky score but inspired by the traditional dance and music of Botswana.Alistair Spalding CBE


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