“A Thrilling Challenge”: Emily Coates and Lasso Coulibaly on Reimagining “The Rite of Spring”

Veronica Good | Showstopper

Photograph by Chris Randall

There are some works we just can’t let leave the stage. From Shakespeare’s greatest works to the Broadway musicals that have wormed their way into our hearts and ears, there are stories that demand to be retold, re-danced, and relived. One of those stories is The Rite of Spring. A ballet that has appeared in various versions across the world since it premiered in Paris in 1913, The Rite of Spring returned again last week under the direction of Lacina Coulibaly and Emily Coates.

Originally choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky with music by Igor Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring originally depicted celebrations of spring, following a young girl, The Chosen One, who becomes a sacrifice for the celebrations and eventually dances herself to death. Since then, the ballet has been adapted to tell a variety of stories from the original to romantic tragedy to advocacy for social and political issues.

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