The Rite of Spring, Stravinsky, and Balanchine
One hundred years ago, the world was shocked by, of all things, a ballet. Le Sacre du printemps (Rite of Spring), choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky and composed by Igor Stravinsky, caused a riot when it was first performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris on 29 May 1913. Stravinsky’s composition was revolutionary; it introduced dissonance in classical music. Here, Elizabeth Kendall, author of Balanchine & The Lost Muse: Revolution and the Making of a Choreographer, discusses The Rite of Spring’s premiere as well as Stravinsky’s productive friendship with George Balanchine, founder of New York City Ballet.
Elizabeth Kendall is author of Balanchine and the Lost Muse: Revolution and the Making of a Choreographer (Oxford 2013); Autobiography of a Wardrobe (Pantheon 2008); American Daughter (Random House 2000); The Runaway Bride: Hollywood Romantic Comedy of the 1930s (Knopf 1990); and Where She Danced (Knopf 1979). She is a tenured associate professor of Literary Studies at The New School. She has written for The New Yorker, Vogue, Ballet News, Dance Magazine, The New York Times, Elle, The New Republic and other journals.