Carolina Performing Arts' Rite 100 Festival to End with Premieres by Vijay Iyer, Basil Twist and Nacho Duato

Carolina Performing Arts' Rite 100 Festival to End with Premieres by Vijay Iyer, Basil Twist and Nacho Duato

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."

Directed and designed by Basil Twist, all works will be performed by Eric Avery, Kate Brehm, Chris DeVille, Matthew Leabo, Brendan McMahon, David Ojala, Marc Petrosino, Jessica Scott (Puppet Captain), Lake Simons, Julia Smith, Amanda Villalobos, and Christopher Williams. Orchestra of St. Luke's will be led by Joanthan McPhee.

A third-generation puppeteer, Twist is the only American to graduate from France's École Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette. One of the most innovative performers in contemporary theater, Twist works with every conceivable element, including water and wind. In 1998 he created Symphonie Fantastique, a one-of-a-kind underwater marvel combining the magic of puppetry with the powerful suggestions of music, dance and abstract art.

The Rite 100 performance season will conclude with Myth and Transformation, an exceptional two-night program (April 26 and 27 at 8pm) by the Martha Graham Dance Company that will feature performances of Graham's The Rite of Spring, which has not been seen by audiences in 20 years; the world premiere of Rust, a new work choreographed by Nacho Duato and commissioned for Rite 100, featuring music of Arvo Pärt with vocals performed by UNC-Chapel Hill's Carolina Choir, that explores themes of violence and torture; and performances by guest artist Wendy Whelan, principal dancer for the New York City BalleT. Whelan will perform Martha Graham's Moon as a duet with Lloyd Knight. Additional repertory will include Graham's Errand (1947) and Diversion of Angels (1948) on April 26, and the much-belovEd Graham classic Appalachian Spring (1944).

"The primal physical expression that is the hallmark of the Graham style has a deep connection with the primitive essences evoked in Stravinsky's revolutionary score for The Rite of Spring, and the pairing is electric," said Janet Eilber, Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Dance Company. "Graham's connection to The Rite began in 1930 when she was propelled to international fame starring in one of the first productions in America, choreographed by Leonide Massine and conducted by Leopold Stokowski. Her choreography for the work in 1984 bookends her long creative career, and elements of her many theatrical innovations are distilled into this masterwork, one of her last."

The company includes Tadej Brdnik, Katherine Crockett, Maurizio Nardi, Miki Orihara, Blakeley White-McGuire, Lloyd Knight, Mariya Dashkina, Maddux, Ben Schultz, Xiaochuan Xie, PeiJu Chien-Pott, Natasha Diamond-Walker, Iris Florentiny, Abdiel Jacobsen, Oliver Tobin, Lloyd Mayor, Gildas Lemonnier, Lorenzo Pagano, Lucy Postell andYing Xin. The lead role of The Chosen One will be performed by Xiaochua Xie on April 26, and Blakeley White-McGuire on April 27.

Building on Reassessing the Rite: A Centennial Conference in Chapel Hill this past October, part two of this academic conference will be held in Moscow from May 12 to 15, 2013. Hosted by the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, participants will include 10 visiting scholars from the Chapel Hill conference, including renowned dance historian, Lynn Garafola, and the preëminent Russian music scholar, Richard Taruskin, scholars from the Conservatory, and three University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty (Severine Neff, Lee Weisert, and Clara Yang). The Moscow conference is being made possible through a relationship with Vladimir Tarnopolski, Professor at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and Director of Moscow Studio, the contemporary performance group at the Conservatory. The proceedings of the two symposia will offer material for a book edited by Maureen Carr, the leading scholar specializing in Stravinsky's compositional methods, Gretchen Horlacher, a cutting-edge analyst of Stravinsky's music, and UNC Distinguished Professors Severine Neff and John Nádas.

A complete schedule of Rite 100 performances and programs is available at the festival website,

Rite 100 is an initiative of CPA in partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at UNC-Chapel Hill. Major funding for the initiative has been provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust with additional funding provided by The National Endowment for the Arts.

Incorporating a major international conference featuring eminent musicologist Richard Taruskin, artist residencies, master classes and multidisciplinary collaborations, Rite 100 offers a dazzling season of fifteen public performances created by world renowned choreographers, composers, directors and conductors. Revisiting, re-examining and responding imaginatively to the Stravinsky-Nijinsky-Roerich masterpiece, these artists present programs that include eleven CPA commissions, representing nine world premieres and two U.S. premieres.

The Rite 100 season features The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Studio for New Music Ensemble from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, The Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Brooklyn Rider, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Siti Company, Magdalena Kožená and Yefim Bronfman, The Cleveland Orchestra, Vijay Iyer and the International Contemporary Ensemble, Nederlands Dans Theater I, Basil Twist with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Martha Graham Dance Company, Wendy Whelan, Joffrey Ballet and the UNC School of the Arts with Chancellor John Mauceri, conductor.

The mission of Carolina Performing Arts is to enrich lives by creating and presenting exceptional arts experiences and connecting them to the UNC community and beyond. Established in 2005 at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Performing Arts presents the very best from the full spectrum of the performing arts: internationally renowned recitalists and orchestras, chamber ensembles, jazz, folk, and world music artists, dance and theater.

CPA strives to nurture artistic innovation and the development of new works on and off campus; to challenge and inspire audiences with powerful and transformative performances; and to integrate the arts into the life of the University, embracing its mission of teaching, research and public service.

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