The Rite of Spring – Seeta Patel
Wednesday 15 April
Studio 10, The Place, London.
Seeta Patel is working with six dancers on her latest production, The Rite of Spring, premièring at Dance City, Newcastle on 9 May 2019, before a national tour.
The music by Igor Stravinsky, created for the ballet of the same title, remains one of the most influential compositions of the twentieth century. It has inspired a long list of choreographers from the original by Nijinksy (1913) to Massine (1920), Béjart (1959), Kenneth MacMillan (1962), and Pina Bausch (1975). The theme of the sacrifice of a young girl to appease the gods, in front of a group of male sages, has been variously interpreted by dance makers. Seeta Patel is staking her reputation on a well- known and well-loved dance piece. Everyone will have their favourite version. What can bharatanatyam and Indian dance offer to yet another Rite of Spring?
I saw some of the first section in rehearsal. The hand-picked dancers from the UK and Europe (including the familiar and fêted Sooraj Subramaniam and Kamala Devam), are all technically brilliant. They convey the thundering rhythms of the music through strong footwork and the shooting out of limbs creating strong taut lines. There are leaps and turns, details of head, neck and hasta. The choreographer has worked hard on compositional elements of space, levels, rhythm and timing. The balance of different movements occurring at the same time alternating with harmony of unison is beguiling. This is exciting dance. You will not regret buying a show ticket (tour dates with link to website).