BWW Reviews: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance and SITI Present A RITE as Part of BAM's Next Wave Festival
Rite of Spring, SITI Company, Anne Bogart, 'A Rite, ' BAM
By its continuous nature, Rite of Spring has become an indicator of change over time. One hundred years after its riotous premiere at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, it continues to hold a certain allure for performers, directors, and audiences alike. The collaborative work of Igor Stravinsky, Vaslav Nijinsky, and Nicholas Roerich has been reworked, remade, and analyzed time and time again. Most recently, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Siti Company, a NYC-based theater troupe directed by Anne Bogart, joined efforts to collaboratively create and produce a centenary interpretation of the prodigious work of Nijinsky, Stravinsky, and Roerich. The product of their efforts, entitled "A Rite," premiered on Thursday at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music's Howard Gilman Opera House as part of the Next Wave festival.
If the original Rite of Spring was a stone dropped into a calm and unsuspecting pool of water, then "A Rite" magnifies not only the ripples on the surface, but the speed and velocity with which the stone fell and the effect of its reverberations on bodies of water for a century. Weaving together particles of the original themes of sacrifice, primitivism, and community with the palpable recounts of a World War I veteran (Will Bond), poetry by Shuntaro Tanikawa, scholarly banter with musicologist Severine Neff (Ellen Lauren), and the considerations of time and existence by physicist Brian Greene, "A Rite" traverses the lineage, some might even suggest the fulfilled prophecies, of Rite of Spring and infuses its folkloric roots with present-day confrontations. Movement and text are not used to establish another response to the score, but rather they are fashioned to examine the global situations surrounding Stravinsky's Rite of Spring over the last 100 years.