Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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.

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