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04 October 2012


Lauren Nottingham

I was first told about Stravinsky's Rite of Spring when I was 15, in music class. The story I got from my music teacher was that there was an uproar at the premiere, and the crowd was divided between those that enjoyed it and those that downright hated it. I always remembered my teacher telling me that one reporter at the premiere wrote that he found the rhythms so riveting that he was subconsciously drumming them on a person's head sitting in front of him.

I did not actually listen to The Rite of Spring until nearly a year ago, when I was almost 18. I looked it up on Youtube and watched the 1987 Joffrey reconstruction of Nijinsky's original choreography. I was completely intrigued and could not divert my attention anywhere else for the entire duration of the ballet. From then on I have had a constant fascination with everything about The Rite of Spring; it's inspiration, the social and historical context of it's time, the intellect of the mastermind that is Stravinsky, his musical development and his varying compositional styles.

Although I study Jazz music at university this year, I have done a lot of reading about Stravinsky's life and works as a composer of the avant garde, due to the curiosity I gained from watching and listening to The Rite of Spring. I have found Stravinsky's third ballet to be an inspiration and a strong reason why I continue to study music.


Christopher Smith

Hi Darcy,

I ran this by my daughter (19) and son (17) and they both remembered the Rite as music to Fantasia, though neither of them knew the name until they were much older. My daughter didn't think much of it, though my son found it scary (I discovered early on that I could mute suspenseful movies and he could watch them no problem, but turn the sound back on and he would flee the room). I asked if they found that this music had any special meaning for them and they both said no, but when my daughter asked her friends, she discovered a real gender split in the answers. Most of the girls her age didn't think much about it, but the boys all had BIG reactions! I might have some leads on anecdotes for you from some of her pals, if you are still looking.

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