|U of Minnesota Orchestra filing getting ready to play The Rite of Spring|
Last fall, as I was looking up where the centennial performances of The Rite of Spring were going to be happening all over the world, I noticed that the Joffrey Ballet was going to be performing the original choreography by Nijinsky along with a live orchestra playing Stravinsky's music here in Minneapolis. When I bought the tickets months ago, February 26th seemed like it would never arrive. Last night I sat in the audience of the Orpheum Theatre downtown and oohed and ahhhed with the rest of the audience at the first two contemporary ballet pieces performed en pointe with legs turned out and giant leaps that were breath-taking. Then after the second intermission, the orchestra filed in-- filling the orchestra pit and spilling out on the next level up. (see the timpani filling the left side?) Stravinsky wrote Le sacre du printemps for an extra large orchestra and the University of Minnesota Orchestra rose to the occasion of celebrating this historic event. When the curtain finally rose to reveal the dancers I nearly swooned. It was as if one of my illustrations had come to life. I kept hoping to see the ghosts of Nijinsky and Stravinsky in the wings. Legend has it that Nijinsky stood on a chair with Stravinsky steadying him by his coat tails in the wings yelling the beats of the music in Russian to the dancers because they could not hear the music over the cries and shouts of the audience.
|Illustration for When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky © Lauren Stringer|