The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

Spring Dance Concert opens, features new interpretation of ‘The Rite of Spring’

The Meadow’s dance ensemble’s Spring Dance Concert opens tonight at 8 p.m.

Highlighting this year’s performance is the world premiere of a new interpretation of “The Rite of Spring” by award-winning Dutch choreographer Joost Vrouenraets.

The Meadows dance ensemble will also showcase George Balanchine’s “Valse Fantaisie,” a pas de deux by visiting artist-in-residence Adam Hougland.

“Valse Fanataise,” or fancy waltz, is a short, classical piece performed by one male and five female dancers.

The piece is set to to the music of Mikhail Glinka, Russia’s first national composer.

Visiting artist-in-residence, Adam Hougland, choreographs a duet from his work entitled “Watershed.”

Additionally, the show will feature the premiere of “In the City,” a new work created by faculty member and noted jazz artist Danny Buraczeski.

The dancers are showcasing the new interpretation of “The Rite of Spring” in honor of the ballet’s 100th anniversary.

“The Rite of Spring” premiered in 1913 in Paris to quite a bit of controversy due to the performance being the most significant declaration of Modernism up to that time.

Originally, the ballet told the story of a primitive Slavonic ritual glorifying the rites of spring, concluding with a human sacrifice.

This year’s performance will be a little more modern.

Joost Vroenraets choreographed the new version of “The Rite of Spring” to be what he believes is more of a mirror for the
21st century.

“Our rituals today are based more on social networks and less on religion and spirituality,” Vroenraets said.

“They focus more on manipulating people. I wanted to make a piece based on the strength or beauty of the group but also the tragedy of it – the quick, strong connections that people can make today don’t always lead to positive ends.”

In the new take on the ballet, a “21st century tribe of young virgins are moved by their ambitious desire to manipulate, control and reproduce.”

Secretly, they create a perfect man and select one woman to mate with their creation and give birth to a new type of human.

According to Vrouenraets, the most critical element in the new “Rite’s” performance is the SMU dancers.

The young dancers are “in the spring of their lives,” he said.

Their energy allows the performers to capture the spirit that the choreographer wants to create, “that of a new generation grappling with the beautifully seductive yet dangerous violence – economic, cultural and socio-political – that is the hallmark of the 21st-century society they will inherit.”

Vrouenraets is the co-founder of Gotra Ballet in Switzerland.

Before working there, he studied dance at the Rudra Bejart studio and school in Switzerland and danced for Bejart’s Company M and Ballet Lausanne.

In addition to choreographing numerous works for Gotra as well as other companies, he has created four independent films.

“The Rite of Spring” is Vrouenraets’ second commission for the division of dance at SMU.

The Spring Dance Concert will take place in the Bob Hope Theatre in the Owens Arts Center on the SMU campus.

Performance times are 8 p.m. on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 14.

Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for students, SMU faculty and staff.

For more information or to purchase tickets call 214-768-2787.

Come back on Monday for a review of the performance. 

More to Discover