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From the Center: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company & SITI Company: ‘A Rite’–Royce Hall March 6-7, 2015

Unsigned editorial from the performance program notes. 

What is this feeling?

More than 100 years ago as Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring hit the Paris stage in a powerful explosion of never-before heard sounds and movement audiences found themselves asking this question. The Rite of Spring was provoking, it caused riots, it instigated critique and dialogue, and while the movement vocabulary of Vaslav Nijinsky and avant-garde compositional approach of Stravinsky confronted audiences at the time, the music is largely considered to be one of the most important works of the 20th century.

In honor of this iconic work at its 2013 centennial, two vital American artists and their companies dove headfirst into the feelings instigated by The Rite of Spring over the course of its revolutionary start and evolutionary influence.

SITI Company, as led by Anne Bogart, and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, are both known and revered for their sense of curiosity, for their collaborative spirit and commitment to cultural exchange. Working on A Rite provided a chance for two unique and like-minded artistic communities to work together and explore the potential of one another in service of artists who came before and cracked open profound new possibilities in the confluence of music, theater and dance.

And explore they did, for more than a year, with Jones constantly advocating for the performers and creators to embrace the visceral sensation of the source work, to “get the music into our bones,” while Bogart was driven by the cerebral, theoretical and historical and sociological ramifications of The Rite of Spring.

What you are about to experience tonight is a remarkable feat in the art of performance. This weekend’s two performances are among the final times these two extraordinary companies will share the stage together, sharing with us the profound results of the rites they collectively brought to life in service of art, of sensation, of inspiration, of converging themes, ideas and creative modalities.

We are proud to honor that collaboration here on this stage and in your company.