The Rite of Spring Review

Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre – 10 November 2021

Reviewed by Dawn Smallwood


Seeta Patel brings the reimagined The Rite of Spring to the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre for one evening. This ballet, based on the infamous Igor Stravinsky’s ballet and musical score, is presented in Bharatanatyam, a South Indian classical dance style. Usually, the dance style is seen singularly but is shown collectively in this production.

The pagan folk story is retold emotively and provocatively with diverse movements with intricate and strong co-ordination and synchronisation from the talented dancers. The performance is firstly opened with an Indian dance rendition with dancers dressed in colourful and traditional clothing. Following this The Rite of Spring follows and captures the audience with its Asian and Orientals charms and tones from beginning to end.

Every detail of the story is told with an Indian twist with its equivalent rituals, cultural notions and traditions. Patel’s choreography ensures that nothing is amiss and that anything isn’t compromised. The costumes and lighting work well together with performers moving to the electric rhythm, the diverse prowess and the unassuming dynamisms the ballet is well known for.

It is inspiring to see a different dance style particularly Bharatanatyam. This, approximately hour-long production, is enjoyed inclusively by many in the diverse communities. The Rite of Spring is a harmonisation of the Eastern classical arts meeting in unity and respect with the Western ones. This production positively exemplifies this and how art unifies all around the world.