Creatives and Credits:
Choreographer: Eliot Smith
Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit. from Seven Last Words from the Cross James Macmillan (Dmitri Ensemble)
A Rhapsody Overture Trip to the Faroe Islands. Carl Nielsen
Costume: Eliot Smith
Premiered at Cathedral Church of St, Mary's in Newcastle upon Tyne, 16 November 2013
Funded by The Friends of The Company
The Rite of Spring, or Le Sacre du Printemps, created a scandal at its first performance in Paris in 1913. Its brutality of theme—pagan rituals captured in the earth-bound choreography of Nijinsky and the dissonant music of Stravinsky—caused a near riot, and the police had to be called.
Stravinsky said of its genesis:
“I saw in my imagination a solemn pagan rite: sage elders, seated in a circle, watching a young girl dance herself to death. They were sacrificing her to propitiate the god of Spring. Such was the theme of the Sacre du Printemps.”
By the time Martha Graham came to dance the role of The Chosen One at the American première, in a new version by Massine in 1930, the piece was finding acceptance. Now it is regarded as a classic.
After the Rite is Eliot Smith's interpretation of The Rite of Spring or, more precisely, what happened after the Sacrifice, looking at Death and Resurrection from a Christian perspective. The work was partially created during Smith's studies at the Martha Graham School during Summer 2013.