Rite of Spring (2003)
Concept, Choreography, Set and Costume Design: Shen Wei
Musical Score: Le Sacre Du Printemps by Igor Stravinsky
Musical Recording: Fazil Say Four-hand Piano Version
Original Lighting Design: David Ferri
Running Time: 40 minutes
“When I first heard Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in China in 1989, I was enthralled by the score’s rich, evocative texture. Over the next twelve years, I continued to develop a creative interest in the piece, finally beginning in-depth research on the music in early 2001. The Stravinsky score is constructed with both technical complexity and narrative passion. After listening closely to the score, I identified several body systems and movement ideas that matched the quality found in the music."
— Shen Wei
"Rite dazzles with its amazing objectivism, its reach beyond ordinary meaning...The visual and emotional impact is overwhelming."
—Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times
“Shen Wei's choreography was like Stravinsky's music inked in space”
—Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post
“Shen Wei jettisons the typical program—primitive society, human sacrifice, etc.—for a purely abstract treatment. It is an exuberant kind of abstractionism, not freighted with an ounce of post-modern irony. It might not be too much to say that Shen Wei's Rite reclaims the ambitious, hopeful modern spirit bubbling at the time Stravinsky and Nijinsky created their 1913 original—that is, unembarrassed to think and aspire to more."
—Dean Smith, The News and Observer
“Shen's strikingly kinetic interpretation is a vivid fusion of East and West, of Chinese opera and modern dance informed by the keen eye of a painter. What Shen has done in melding his passions is startlingly original and bravely experimental, without a trace of self-indulgent excess. With The Rite of Spring, pure movement in austere abstraction brilliantly captures the energy of the music...It is a riveting work.”
—Karen Campbell, The Boston Globe