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Sunday June 4th

'Rite of Spring at 100' conference to explore bookish side of ballet

Keynote speaker Richard Tarusken (UC Berkeley) details the history of reaction to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.
Buy Photos Keynote speaker Richard Tarusken (UC Berkeley) details the history of reaction to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

More than two years in the works, Carolina Performing Arts’ centennial celebration of Igor Stravinsky’s famed ballet “The Rite of Spring” is now in full swing.

CPA’s “The Rite of Spring at 100” has already brought world-renowned artists like Yo-Yo Ma, Compagnie Marie Chouinard and members of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory to Chapel Hill.


Location: Hyde Hall

“The Rite” in Russian Tradition – 9:45 a.m.-noon
Keynote address on Dance and “The Rite” — 2-3 p.m.
Dancing “The Rite” after its Premiere — 3:30-5 p.m.

“The Rite” Analysis and Compositional Practice — 8:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Stravinsky and “The Rite” in 20th Century Russia — 1:30-3 p.m.
Tribute to the late Russian theorist Yuri Kholopov — 3-4:15 p.m.
Keynote Panel (Person Hall) — 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Keynote Lecture on Music Theory — 9:30-10:15 a.m.
Locating “The Rite”: Cultural Perspectives — 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Plenary Discussion: “The Rite” Today — 1:45-2:45 p.m.

Beginning Thursday, CPA began to break from performances to explore the academic side of “The Rite of Spring” with Reassessing “The Rite”: A Centennial Conference.

The conference merges the arts and academia, featuring scholars from around the world.

Will Robin, a UNC musicology graduate student who has helped coordinate the conference, said it adeptly merges performing arts, campus culture and scholarly attitudes.

“This project has absolutely taken it home on this,” he said.

Severine Neff, a UNC music professor, has been involved with planning “The Rite of Spring at 100” from the beginning.

“In terms of the birthday celebration itself and in terms of scholarly work, it seems natural to have a conference with all of the scholars — as many as we could from different parts of the world,” Neff said.

The weekend conference features 26 scholars’ addresses. It will explore the impact “The Rite of Spring” has had on culture throughout the 20th century.

Donald Raleigh, a history professor at UNC, will open the conference with a speech addressing the ballet and its place in the history of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Showcasing the widespread reaches of “The Rite of Spring,” Mary Davis, of the Fashion Institute of Technology, will discuss the ballet’s influence on French fashion.

Neff said the conference will address how “The Rite of Spring” has affected dance, orchestras, music composition and popular music.

Reed Colver, CPA’s director of campus and community engagement, said CPA was able to host the scholars primarily due to a $750,000 grant awarded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund “The Rite of Spring at 100.”

“For us to be able to bring scholars from all over the world for this conference, and then also to have some of our UNC scholars to be able to go to Russia and participate in a sister conference, is really incredible,” Colver said.

“It’s a weekend that’s going to be very rich and varied.”

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