Project Re-Rite, was a audio/visual project conceptualised by Ruta Skudraite of Art Vanguard and realised jointly by Art Vanguard and Video Jam. The project commissioned four filmmakers selected by Video Jam, paired with four composers selected by Art Vanguard, to create new audio/visual work in response to Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, marking the centenary of its premier. Project Re-Rite divided the original 30 minute piece into four sections, each of which was assigned to a pairing of emerging artists as material for the creation of new work. The task of the artists also included the use of five instrumentalists represented in Art Vanguard's group of musicians: violin, guitar saxophone, double bass and piano. The work as a whole was presented in its entirity at the Royal Northern College of Music on the 29/11/13. Print programme for this event designed by Textbook Studio.
About the Rite of Spring
The Rite of Spring (French: Le Sacre du printemps) is a ballet and orchestral concert work by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. It was written for the 1913 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes company. When first performed, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 29 May 1913, the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography purportedly caused a sensation and a near-riot in the audience. Although designed as a work for the stage, with specific passages accompanying characters and action, the music achieved equal if not greater recognition as a concert piece, and is widely considered to be one of the most influential musical works of the 20th century. Ironically, The Rite of Spring has now become a safe path as a work for concert and is one of the most played pieces in the orchestral repertoire.
Act 1: Hannah and Amy Buckley & David Curington"We were both drawn to the folk element of the original ballet and were keen to incorporate this in some way. Alongside this, we wanted to bring contemporary issues into the work. With the female figure central to the original Ballet and feminist ideals central to ourselves we decided to begin from here. Via images of Kate Bush, Ruth St Dennis and Miley Cyrus we came to two words as our starting point for this video: female and revolution. It was filmed using a mixture of digital and 16mm Bolex cameras.” - Hannah and Amy Buckley
Act 2: Rowland Hill & Tom Rose“As an artwork The Rite of Spring was an undermining of what came before it in almost every way. We were particularly struck by the ways in which it re-considered ballet as an art form, prioritising expressiveness of the individual over technicality, and contorting dancers into ‘unnatural’ positions. To me, the music expresses a feeling of instability; of things disturbed and turned inside out. Through working on our piece I wanted to discover a new way of seeing or a visual language that would capture something of my own visceral experience of listening to the music, mapping out a series of sensations.” – Rowland Hill
Act 3: Chris Paul Daniels & Thomas Stewart“We have created work for the section entitled ‘Mystic Circles of the Young Girls.’ Through kind permission of the Armitt Museum and Library in Ambleside I was able to accelerate and edit a selection of J W Brunskell’s portraits of Cumbrian residents, specifically women who would have lived in the overlapping decades of the premiere of Stravinsky’s work. The concept of young girls being selected as the ‘Chosen One’ to be glorified and sacrificed by dark and supernatural forces continues as a resonant theme throughout popular and film culture, from ‘Suspiria’ through to ‘The Wicker Man’. I wanted to deliver a visual piece that was as intense as the original score and its original raucous reception.” – Chris Paul Daniels
Act 4: Simon Brooks and Oliver White & Laurie TompkinsFor project re-Rite Simon and Oliver are bringing both of their skill sets to the table to produce a cutting edge live visual performance. Using new techniques, Airi Koike, a ballet dancer from the Northern Ballet School will be projection mapped during a contemporary re-imagining of the original ballet routine. Laurie’s approach to the last three parts of the Rite has been to create a sense of monumental, unpredictable mo- mentum through vastly scaled down means: an amplified banjo and electronics.