It’s rare that a reimagining actually captures the spirit of the original — while remaining cutting edge in its own time. But this celebration of the 106th anniversary of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring does just that. With the creative mentorship of The Royal Ballet, Culture Device — a dance theater for artists with Down’s Syndrome — completed a residency at the Royal Opera House with this stunning performance.
“The Rite of Spring absolutely broke all the rules in composition and choreography, marking an important cultural moment in history,” the filmmaker explained. “It’s crucial to be at the forefront of the cultural moment, and this film shows how the art world is opening up to performers with learning disabilities.”
It’s easy to forget that, at the time of this iconic dance, it was considered so against the grain that the audiences decided to riot. Both the score and the choreography challenged what it meant to be a ballet. In that spirit, this piece — and the film from NOWNESS — challenges preconceptions and seeks to open up the art of dance. You can see the performance here:
It’s incredible to see such a powerful piece with such a profound message. “There are many misconceptions about people with learning disabilities. When working on projects like this that have a special energy, your view on certain topics will never be the same again,” the filmmaker continued. “The truth is that we need to employ more of these incredibly talented performers, not only within arts and culture but other disciplines where they can make a positive change.”