Hidden from small

The Rite of Spring

Yannick Nézet-Séguin - Conductor

Jean-Yves Thibaudet - Piano

Ridge Theater Company - Dancer(s)

Bob McGrath - Artistic director


Bach/orch. Stokowski - Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor

Ravel - Piano Concerto in G major


Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring

Saturday, February 23, 2013

8:00 pm Verizon Hall

Tickets are limited, for best availability please call 215.893.1999.

Please note the program change for this performance. Oliver Knussen's new composition, originally slated to premiere in Philadelphia, will not take place as scheduled. Stokowski's orchestral transcription of Bach's Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor will be performed in its place, as part of this season's ongoing Stokowski centenary celebration.

Please note due to the setup and preparation for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) in the Kimmel Center lobby there have been changes made to the locations of the box office lines, subscriber services table and donor services table. The box office lines will form beginning at the box office near the Information Desk. There will be an Usher to assist in managing the box office line.  The subscriber services table will be located in front of the staircase across from Door B. The eZseatU table will be located at the far end of the PECO bar across from the stairs by door C. The donor services table will be located in front of the staircase across from Door C.

Stravinsky's Rite of Spring received its U.S. premieres in both staged and concert versions right here in Philadelphia, under Stokowski's direction. Now, in a first-of-its-kind partnership with Philadelphia Live Arts, The Philadelphia Orchestra collaborates with the New York-based Ridge Theater Company to present a 21st- century treatment of The Rite of Spring with dancers, video projection, and theatrical lighting. Philadelphia also gave the first American performances of Ravel's Piano Concerto in G, which will be performed by star soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

A collaboration with Ridge Theater Company

While the original scenario of The Rite of Spring is based on ancient pagan rituals, this weekend’s presentation does not adhere to this storyline. Instead Ridge Theater Company contrasts the two parts of the work as “Winter” and “Spring.” There are additional undertones of contemporary storylines that range from the impact of global warming to mob mentality and social violence.

The first part of the work will feature a black-and-white film by Bill Morrison. By manipulating archival footage of cold, arctic scenes, the filmmaker challenges the traditional concept of winter as analogous to death and lifelessness. Instead, his images pulsate with life and a vibrant energy. This is then the backdrop for a stunning aerial performance that brings sensuality to this unconventional perception of winter as an incubator of life.

The second part of the work features a living set by Laurie Olinder. These large projections of flowers and blossoms are reminiscent of spring fields.

A lead dancer in conservative attire struggles for acceptance and a sense of self among four dancers in brightly-colored gowns. The final dance occurs amidst an apocalyptic scene of a solar eclipse and allusions to mushroom clouds.

The original 1913 collaboration of The Rite of Spring brought together a unique partnership of creative artists. The formalism of the ballet world was shattered by the unorthodox approach of Stravinsky and his collaborators. In that spirit, this weekend’s collaboration seeks to extend the boundaries of the symphonic experience in today’s hyper-visual world.

program notes

Bob McGrath, Artistic Director, Ridge Theater

Pre-Concert Conversations