THING OF THE DAY, Well we can’t let the anniversary of the riot pass without a mention can we?


THING OF THE DAY, Well we can’t let the anniversary of the riot pass without a mention can we?

it was on this very day, 29th May, one hundred years ago, that one of the finest pieces of music and dance, caused a riot….

In May 1913, Igor Stravinsky debuted his ballet The Rite of Spring . Probably his best know work, the piece was revolutionary, the glorious thing was met with harsh criticism, negative reviews, and yes. a riot.


“Stravinsky debuted the The Rite of Spring Ballet at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris on May 29, 1913, to an audience accustomed to the grace, elegance, and traditional music of “conventional” ballets. Opposition to Stravinsky’s work literally happened within the first few minutes of the piece as members of the audience booed loudly in response to the inharmonic notes accompanying the unrecognizable bassoon’s opening solo. What’s more, the work’s unconventional music, sharp and unnatural choreography (dancers danced with bent arms and legs and would land on the floor so hard their internal organs would shake), and Russian pagan setting, failed to win over the majority of the audience.

As the ballet progressed, so did the audience’s discomfort. Those in favour of Stravinksy’s work argued with those in opposition. The arguments eventually turned to brawls and police had to be notified. They arrived at intermission and successfully calmed the angry crowd (yes, the show wasn’t even half way over before people were throwing punches). As the second half commenced, police were unable to keep the audience under control and rioting resumed. Stravinsky was so taken aback by the audience’s reaction, he fled the scene before the show was over”.(Aaron Green –



“In an interview from the early 60’s, I believe by Janos Darvas, Igor Stravinsky humorously recalls playing The Rite of Spring for Sergei Diaghilev whose company, The Ballet Russes, would be dancing to this groundbreaking, albeit bizarre, score. One doesn’t imagine Stravinsky to be humorous but this isn’t the only light clip I’ve seen. All these clips from the same interview are thrown all over the internet with no source or sequence. I have no rights to any of it but this is important” said the person who posted this clip…









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