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BALLET

Review: Dynamic but cluttered Rite of Spring

Like his contemporary Pablo Picasso who reinvented the rules of painting, Russian-born Igor Stravinskij represented a revolution in musical creation. Unchaining himself from romantic traditions, Stravinskij created modern classical music that was both innovative and compelling.
Stravinskij's talents were showcased February 1 at the Slovak National Theatre when his most famous ballet, Rite of Spring, was performed by the Slovak National Ballet alongside two other short modern ballets.
The first of the three, Wish, had a promising and powerful beginning but lost much of its intensity later on in the performance.


Ballerina Nikoletta Rafaelisová soars in Stravinskij's Rite of Spring.
photo: K. Marenčinová

Rite of Spring(as part of 3-ballet-triptych)

Next show: March 14
Tickets: 50-120 Sk
Starts at: 19:00
Venue: Slovak NationalTheatre,
Tel: 54 43 30 83

Like his contemporary Pablo Picasso who reinvented the rules of painting, Russian-born Igor Stravinskij represented a revolution in musical creation. Unchaining himself from romantic traditions, Stravinskij created modern classical music that was both innovative and compelling.

Stravinskij's talents were showcased February 1 at the Slovak National Theatre when his most famous ballet, Rite of Spring, was performed by the Slovak National Ballet alongside two other short modern ballets.

The first of the three, Wish, had a promising and powerful beginning but lost much of its intensity later on in the performance. Although the initial musical selection is interesting and rhythmic, the third selection of the performance is annoyingly repetitious, leaving the viewer wondering how much longer the piece will last. Furthermore, the dancers appeared constricted by their heavy and awkward costumes which made their movements seem difficult to perform - the opposite impression a ballet is expected to give.

The second ballet, I Disappeared From the World, features Mahler's Adagettio musical composition. The scene consists of two men, a woman and a chair in a piece which can be interpreted in many ways, but seems to best symbolise a woman torn between her husband and her lover. Irina Čierniková gives a moving performance as a mature woman torn between two loves. In terms of general atmosphere, the lighting at times was quite poor and did little to expose the drama of Mahler's sweeping tones the dancers and the choreography wished to convey.

Even Stravinskij's Rite of Spring fell victim to the same unnecessary excesses which marred the first two pieces. The vigorous dancers were overshadowed by the backdrop, diverting focus from their talents.

The overall, lasting impression of the cluttered stage is one of unnecessary complication. Choreography as powerful and dynamic as in Rite of Spring needs no enhancement besides the grace of the dancers.

Overall, the evening would have been much better served by a simpler presentation. Simplicity enhances ballet, while overbearing complexity detracts from its grace.

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