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Riot at the Rite (2005)

In the spring of 1913, Parisian businessman Gabriel Astruc opens a new theater on the Champs Elysées. The first performance is the premiere of Igor Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring', danced... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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George Antoni ...
Vassili
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Philip Gammon ...
Kolossal the Pianist
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...
Grigoriev
Matthew Hart ...
Menshikov
Naomi Wattis ...
Lydia
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Bassoonist
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Griff Rhys Jones ...
Gabriel Astruc
Pearce Quigley ...
Nicholas Roerich
...
Violinist
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Storyline

In the spring of 1913, Parisian businessman Gabriel Astruc opens a new theater on the Champs Elysées. The first performance is the premiere of Igor Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring', danced by the Ballet Russes. The rehearsal process is extremely fraught: the orchestra dislike Stravinsky's harsh, atonal music; the dancers dislike the 'ugly' choreography of Vaslav Nijinsky. The volatile, bisexual Nijinsky is in a strained relationship with the much older Sergei Diaghilev, the Ballet Russes' charismatic but manipulative impresario. Public expectation is extremely high after Nijinsky's success in 'L'apres-midi d'un faune'. Finally, 'The Rite of Spring' premieres to a gossip-loving, febrile, fashion-conscious Parisian audience sharply divided as to its merits. Written by Peter Brynmor Roberts

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11 March 2006 (UK)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Igor Stravinsky: [during a rehearsal with the orchestra, the musicians become uncomfortable with the stamping rhythms of Stravinsky's score, mess up and burst out laughing] What's so funny? Huh? Huh? That is *precisely* what I wrote!
[marches over to the piano and pounds out the discordant stamping; everyone stares at Igor as if he's mad]
Igor Stravinsky: You understand? Huh? *I* write, you PLAY!
Pierre Monteux: [trying to diffuse the tension] Gentlemen, if we might pick it up from the bar before 104?
[orchestra resumes rehearsing]
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Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #6.74 (2010) See more »

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Lovely
12 March 2006 | by (Netherlands/UK) – See all my reviews

I fell into this on BBC-2 while channel-hopping. Absolutely fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable. Maybe the drama was the usual period stuff but with the story of the creation, rehearsal and performance of the Right of Spring, it was captivating. A really class production with the Finnish National Ballet with Zenaida Yanowsky and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. We see the tensions between the dancer (Najinsky) and composer (Stravinsky) during the creation. Tension gives way to excitement and confidence during rehearsals. And then bafflement at the public reaction. Always the way with the new? Definitely worth watching for the music and dance.


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