29 May 2013, 12 - 12am

The premiere at the Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris on 29 May 1913 of The Rite of Spring Scenes from Pagan Russia arguably constituted the quintessential 'total work of art (gesamtkunstwerk)'. This interdisciplinary conference examines the cross-fertilizations between music, choreography and design in the creation of the original performance as well its critical reception and its legacies in contemporary performance and design. Reassessing this watershed moment in the history of performance, the papers investigate both its continuity and ruptures with the traditions of music, dance and design as well as subsequent responses including:

  • Locating the Rite as music, ballet, design
  • Original and subsequent critical reception of the Rite
  • Prehistory, Modernism and the Rite
  • Protagonists in the creation of the original production Rite (Diaghilev; Nijinsky; Roerich; etc.)
  • The history of productions and adaptations of the Rite 1913-2012
  • The impact of the Rite on mass culture (photography; magazine illustration; fashion; collectibles; etc.)
  • The representation of the Rite in other media (literature; caricature; etc.)
  • The legacy of the Rite for subsequent composers; choreographers; theatre and fashion designers; historians
  • Marketing, collecting and preserving material vestiges of the Rite
  • 2013 Centenary productions and concerts of the Rite
  • Fictional and documentary films about the Rite

Reflecting the interdisciplinary aims of the conference, the speakers come from a wide range of fields including choreography, music, design and their histories; and include established professorial scholars; early career researchers; doctoral candidates; practitioners and performers.


10.00 DHS Plenary Lecture Revisiting the Rite
Professor Lynn Garafola, Columbia University

Origins: Design and Performance
Chair: Sue Jones

11.00 Anticipating the Rite; Petrouchka the puppetry of modernism
Daniella Berman, doctoral candidate, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

11.20 Prehistoric Ballets: L'Apres Midi d'un Faune as precursor of The Rite of Spring
Nico Momigliano, Senior Lecturer, University of Bristol

11.40 Disruption in Continuity: The Use of Ornament in The Rite of Spring
Alexander Schwan, Lecturer, Free University Berlin

12.00 Fleeting Glances: Valentine Gross' sketches of The Rite of Spring
Mike O'Mahony, Reader, University of Bristol

Initial International Reception
Chair: Mike O'Mahony

13.40 Divining the 1920s: Precious Body Image in Vaslav Nijinsky's 1913 Ballets
Katerina Pantelides, doctoral candidate, Courtauld Institute of Art

14.00 A Bardic Rite? Designing the Savoy Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream
Claire O'Mahony, Kellogg College, University of Oxford

14.20 D H Lawrence's Rite
Sue Jones, Lecturer, St Hilda's College University of Oxford

14.40 The Spanish Reception of The Rite of Spring: Ballet, Music, Fine Arts (1913-33)
Idoia Murga-Castro, Professor, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Re-envisioning the Rite
Chair: Mike O'Mahony

15.40 The Chosen One: Massine's Choreographic Rite of Passage
Lisa Fusillo, doctoral candidate, University of Georgia

16.00 Mapping Nijinsky's Cross-Cultural Legacy: Min Tanaka's Le Sacre du Printemps (1987)
Lucy Weir, doctoral candidate, Glasgow School of Art

Centenary responses
Chair: Claire O'Mahony

16.40 Archaeology of a Scandal: RoS Indexical (2007) A Pedagogical Vaudeville
Laurence Corbel, Lecturer, and Johanna Renard, doctoral candidate, University of Rennes II

17.00 Visualizing the Rite: Glasgow School of Art and the Cultivation of Cross-Disciplinary Practices
Mairi Mackenzie, Lecturer, and Kimberley O'Neill, Research Fellow, Glasgow School of Art

17.20 Mark Morris and the Choreographic 'Rights' to The Rite of Spring
Jordan Amirkhani, University of Kent

19.30 The Rite of Spring Pleyel player piano roll by Rex Lawson of pianola.org (tbc)

For more information, please contact claire.omahony@kellogg.ox.ac.uk

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