“Gut-wrenching brilliance…[this cast] delivers Bausch’s shattering vision with devastating force.”
—The Guardian (UK)
“As the community of dancers build to a climax, a sense
of foreboding in the air, the combination of grace and visceral fury in their movement is electrifying.”
—The Times (UK)
“How would you dance, if you knew you were going to die?” This is the central question asked by the late choreographer Pina Bausch of her dancers in 1975 when she created her seminal work The Rite of Spring, which examines unyielding ritual when the sacrifice of a “chosen one” changes the season from winter to spring. This pioneering work, establishing her iconic approach, has gone on to become one of the 20th century’s most significant and important bodies of dance theater.
Faithful to Stravinsky’s visceral score, Bausch’s monumental choreography is given a thrilling new life by a specially assembled company of 36 dancers from 14 African countries. Danced on a peat-covered stage, they clash and engage in a wild and poetic struggle of life, ritual, and sacrifice that pays tribute to her unparalleled genius.
Rite is paired with a new work created, performed, and inspired by the lives of two remarkable choreographers, professors, and grandmothers: Germaine Acogny, the founder of the Senegalese École des Sables who is widely considered to be “the mother of contemporary African dance,” and Malou Airaudo, who performed leading roles in many of Bausch’s early works as a member of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. This poetic and tender antidote to Rite reflects their shared histories, emotional experiences, and common ground.
New York Premiere
A Pina Bausch Foundation, École des Sables, & Sadler’s Wells production
The Rite of Spring
Choreography Pina Bausch
Music Igor Stravinsky
Set and Costumes Rolf Borzik
Collaboration Hans Pop
Artistic Directors Josephine Ann Endicott, Jorge Puerta Armenta, Clémentine Deluy
Rehearsal Directors Çağdaş Ermiş, Ditta Miranda Jasjfi, Barbara Kaufmann, Julie Shanahan, Kenji Takagi
Co-Choreographers and Dancers Germaine Acogny, Malou Airaudo
Composer Fabrice Bouillon LaForest
Costume Design Petra Leidner
Lighting Design Zeynep Kepekli
Dramaturgy Sophiatou Kossoko
The Rite of Spring/common ground[s] is made possible with the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels and is part of the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival.
Production support is provided by the Harkness Foundation for Dance.
Public support for The Rite of Spring/common ground[s] is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Additional public support is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature as well as the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Production Co-Producers & Funding Partners
Co-produced with Théâtre de la Ville, Paris; Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; Holland Festival, Amsterdam; Festspielhaus, St Pölten; Ludwigsburg Festival; Teatros del Canal de la Comunidad de Madrid, Adelaide Festival and Spoleto Festival dei 2Mondi. The production was funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the International Coproduction Fund of the Goethe-Institut, and kindly supported by the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch.
Photo: Maarten Vanden Abeele
Wednesday, November 29–
Thursday, December 14, 2023
Tickets start at $35 (plus fees)
Monday–Thursday at 7:30pm
Friday–Saturday at 8:00pm
Sunday at 3:00pm
To view a full schedule of performances, click here.
Wade Thompson Drill Hall
View the seating chart.
This performance is approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes with one intermission.
Health and Safety Protocols
Masks are optional. To view additional COVID-19 Policies, please visit our FAQs page.
A limited number of tickets may be released to the in-person standby line starting 1 hour prior to each performance.
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