Friday, March 01, 2013


The Joffrey Ballet, in Millicent Hodson’s 1987 reconstruction of Vaslav Nijinsky’s 1913 masterwork, “The Rite Of Spring”, which we saw Tuesday night at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Minneapolis.

Two different presentations of “The Rite Of Spring” had been scheduled for the Twin Cities this season, presumably to mark the work’s centennial.

One year ago, it was announced that Béjart Ballet Lausanne would present Maurice Béjart’s version of “The Rite Of Spring” in Minneapolis in May 2013, exactly two months after Minneapolis was to witness its very first encounter with the Nijinsky original.

Such was not to happen. Béjart Ballet Lausanne’s 2013 American tour was cancelled late last year for budgetary reasons.

I do not regret missing Béjart’s “Rite Of Spring”. The Béjart version has an abysmally low reputation in America—and, in any case, I happen to agree with the view often expressed by George Balanchine: “The Rite Of Spring” cannot be staged to satisfaction, and should be appreciated purely for Igor Stravinsky’s path-breaking score.

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