Carolina Performing Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) presents The Rite of Spring at 100 (Rite 100), an unprecedented nine-month festival which began in September 2012 and continues through May 2013. Spring season performances include three world premieres commissioned for Rite 100 including new works from Vijay Iyer, Basil Twist and Nacho Duato; a U.S. premiere from Nederlands Dans Theater 1; and a rare chance to see Martha Graham's groundbreaking version of The Rite of Spring.
"It has been a profound honor for Carolina Performing Arts to present Rite 100 this season, providing artists and audiences with the opportunity not just to reflect upon the historic impact of The Rite of Spring, but to look at how the work continues to influence new works today," said Emil J. Kang, Executive Director for the Arts at UNC-Chapel Hill and Director of Carolina Performing Arts. "In the spirit of the seminal work, our festival's grand finale will showcase exciting performances across a wide variety of the arts-including music, dance, film and even a 'ballet without dancers'-and continue to reimagine The Rite for our time."
On March 26 at 7:30pm, Vijay Iyer, Prashant Bhargava and the International Contemporary Ensemble will perform a four-part program featuring Ode to Butch Morris (2012) by Tyshawn Sorey, Lenwood & Other Saints Who Roam the Earth (2011) and Manifold (2009, rev. 2011) by Steve Lehman, as well as the world premiere of Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi by Vijay Iyer, commissioned by Carolina Performing Arts for Rite 100.
In the film Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, Vijay Iyer and director Prashant Bhargava reconsider the aspects of ritual and transformation represented in The Rite of Spring through the lens of Holi, a chaotic and colorful celebration of spring in India. During Holi, participants throw colorful powder at each other as told in the myth of the Hindu goddess Radha, and revelers enter a state of uninhibited, ecstatic freedom. Loosely following the episodic template of Le Sacre du Printemps, the performance is an encounter between live music and film, lived experience and myth, and winter and spring.
Radhe, Radhe: Rites of Holi features performers Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Beatrice Ordeix and was directed and edited by award-winning filmmaker Prashant Bhargava with cinematography by Craig Marsden and Bhargava. Please click here to view the film's trailer.
The evening's music will be performed by International Contemporary Ensemble: Adam Sliwinski, conductor; Claire Chase, flute; Eric Lamb, flute; Joshua Rubin, clarinet; Rebekah Heller, bassoon; Gareth Flowers, trumpet; Jennifer Curtis, violin; Kyle Armbrust, viola; Kivie Cahn-Lipman, cello; Cory Smythe, piano; Ross Karre, percussion; Vijay Iyer, composer and piano; Steve Lehman, composer and saxophone; Tyshawn Sorey, composer and percussion; Levy Lorenzo, sound engineer.
On April 3 at 7:30pm, Nederlands Dans Theater 1 will present the U.S. premiere of a new work, Chamber, choreographed by Medhi Walerski and composed by Joby Talbot. Walerski and Talbot will explore The Rite of Spring, using the music's kinetic energy as inspiration. The company will also perform Memoires d'Oubliettes (2009) by Jiri Kylian and Speak for Yourself (1999) by Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot.
On April 5 at 8pm, the company will present a different program, including two pieces choreographed by Leon and Lightfoot, Sehnsucht (2009) and Schmetterling (2010).
Master puppeteer Basil Twist's all-Stravinsky program includes the world premiere of a Rite 100 commission performed with Orchestra of St. Luke's. Set in two parts, Adoration of the Earth and Great Sacrifice, Twist's The Rite of Spring is a groundbreaking work that transforms traditional puppetry into kinetic, living fabric sculptures performed by a cast of 12 puppeteers. The two night program (April 12 and 13 at 8pm) will also feature Twist's take on Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite and Fireworks, Op. 4, reflecting his ability to interpret a wide range of forms and presentations, from Italian commedia dell'arte to the formalism of a Modernist symphony.
"The legend of Ballet Russes' 'ballet without dancers' and Loie Fuller's flowing silks inspired me to create my version of Symphonie Fantastique almost 15 years ago, where shapes danced and the inanimate became animate," said Twist. "Since then, I have always wanted to take my abstract puppetry to a much bigger scale, but it didn't happen until Emil Kang invited me to participate in this centennial for The Rite of Spring."