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Tuesday October 4th

‘Rite’ takes new color in show

	<p><span class="caps">CPA</span> comissioned filmmaker Prashant Bhargava and composer Vijay Iyer to create a “RADHE <span class="caps">RADHE</span>: The Rites of Holi.”</p>
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CPA comissioned filmmaker Prashant Bhargava and composer Vijay Iyer to create a “RADHE RADHE: The Rites of Holi.”

Tonight Carolina Performing Arts celebrates a different rite of spring — with a greater multitude of colors.

CPA’s next commissioned performance in its “The Rite of Spring at 100” centennial celebration is a collaboration between composer Vijay Iyer and filmmaker Prashant Bhargava, titled “RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi.”


Time: 7:30 p.m. tonight
Location: Memorial Hall


Time: 5 p.m. Wednesday
Location: Faculty Lounge, Campus Y

The show, which takes place tonight, features Bhargava’s film, accompanied by a live orchestral composition written by Iyer and performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble.

The performance of Iyer’s composition will be its world premiere.

Joe Florence, marketing and communications manager for CPA, said it wanted to commission Iyer because of his insight into “The Rite of Spring” in relation to the Indian celebration of Holi, without using the show’s score.

“We’re celebrating the rite of spring, but ‘The Rite of Spring,’ the actual music, is only played on stage twice (this season),” Florence said. “One thing that was very important to us was not recreating ‘The Rite of Spring’ 40 times.”

Florence said CPA is not only honoring Stravinsky’s work but is bringing a global context to the coming of spring with this collaboration.

Bhargava said he considered the foundation and goal of Stravinsky’s piece — to incite audiences — and applied that to the Hindu celebration of spring.

The Holi celebration, based on the legendary affair of Krishna and Radha, served as a destination for Bhargava’s film, as he ventured to Mathura, India, in 2012 to film the celebration.

“There are a lot of rituals that are very primal and very sexual, have a lot of exuberance and are sometimes violent,” Bhargava said. “I shot 30 hours of footage … and started to construct a narrative based on the rituals and the foundation that were in the footage.”

Bhargava said he cut all of his footage to a London Symphony Orchestra performance of “The Rite of Spring” and ended up with a 35-minute film.

The title, “RADHE RADHE,” is a phrase Bhargava said people in this region of India would say if they bumped into you, were coming from temple or were in a state of exuberance.

“It felt like there was a citywide infectious energy,” Bhargava said.

Iyer said his work is less about Stravinsky and more about the connection among all rites of spring.

“I turned the sound off on Prashant’s film and tried to create something else that was less about this episodic structure and was more of responding to what I was seeing,” Iyer said.

Iyer said he has never worked with an ensemble like this, or made art from a film.

“It’s been a hard time finding a unity and finding a way to harness the energy,” Iyer said.

Florence said this performance is not only about globalizing “The Rite of Spring” but also about giving context to UNC celebrations of Holi by working with Holi Moli UNC.

Sarah Barger, an executive board member for Holi Moli UNC, said the group’s mission this year is to help students recognize the cultural significance of the event and to have fun.

“We want to shift the perspective from an event that is just people throwing powder at each other to a cultural experience with importance in history and religion,” she said. “The context is crucial.”

However, Bhargava and Iyer said inciting emotion outweighs context.

“The concept of ‘The Rite of Spring’ was to create this attraction and repulsion and stir up people,” Bhargava said.

“I hope people will come and feel a little bit of winter as they’re walking in and leave feeling a little bit of spring.”

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