Taking a leap of faith on A Rite
This post is written by Bobby Asher, our Associate Director of Artistic Initiatives.
A Rite photo by Paul B. Goode
In early January, I attended a showing of A Rite, an examination of Stravinsky's history-making work by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and SITI Company. They will perform the full piece at the Clarice Smith Center on February 7 & 8. You should be here.
I think what Bill T. and Anne created here is important; it respects and amplifies Stravinsky's work while simultaneously providing their shared commentary on what the piece meant in the context of the time when it premiered and what it has come to represent since.
These two artists, Bill T. Jones and Anne Bogart, in my biased opinion, are at the top of their games creatively, and their companies are full of incredible dancers and actors. Several reviewers who have seen the piece since have noted that it was difficult to tell who was a dancer and who was an actor, and Anne Bogart, in her curtain speech with Bill T. Jones before the showing, noted that their companies have eschewed the separate designations of their craft and now want to be known as "dactors."
Hearing The Rite of Spring never fails to make the hair stand up on the back of my neck, and the intensity of Stravinsky's music was matched by the intensity of the choreography and acting. I don't want to spoil the show because you need to see and hear it for yourself, but I think what Bill T. and Anne created here is important; it respects and amplifies Stravinsky's work while simultaneously providing their shared commentary on what the piece meant in the context of the time when it premiered and what it has come to represent since.
The challenge of creating and presenting new work is that a lot of people and organizations have to take a leap of faith together; certainly the artists and their companies, but also funders, commissioning partners, presenters, designers and many others. I'm proud that the Clarice Smith Center is one of the organizations that took that leap with these artists; what you will see next Friday and Saturday night is the incredible result.