Taboos are explored in the McKinney theatre

The large ensemble of dancers performing the unique dance style incorporated in the Rite of Spring score. (Eric Gorman/ Lariat )

Valery Fregoso



A  phenomenon of music, sacrifice of a young virgin and riots – The Rite of Spring has proven to all, that the unusual set of music and dance is something worth watching.  

The Saddleback Department of Music presented ‘The Rite of Spring,’ marking the centennial anniversary of Igor Stravinsky’s controversial score and ballet on Feb. 4 and 5, at the McKinney Theatre. This event was a collaboration of Music, Dance, Entertainment and Theatre Technology, and the Fine Arts programs.

 The Rite of Spring was a show presented by the Ballet Russes in 1913, that sparked a lot of controversy in the music world. Igor Stravinsky developed interesting melodies, rhythms and meters for his score. His show was originally presented alongside a ballet of unusual movements, something that was not deemed appropriate at the time and caused riots in the middle of the original production. 

 “I think it was a really successful inspiring piece, with lots of energy. It was a big performance for Saddleback and the community,” Kirill Gliadkovsky, pianist and director of keyboard studies said. “This piece changed the music world.”

 This 35-minute production involved a two-piano version, by Krill Gliadkovsky and Norman Weston, with a group of dancers using new choreography by Deidre Cavazzi, all professors at Saddleback. The background was made from the student works from the Advanced Scenery Painting class projected onto a white backdrop. These were set out in a silent auction during the show. All the proceeds went back to the collaboration of Saddleback Art Programs.

 “Deidre Cavazzi approached me to do this collaboration,” Norman Weston, pianist and theory ad composition professor said. “This is a rare event and almost never happens.”

Deidre Cavazzi, a full time Dance instructor here at Saddleback helped generate this big production by involving as many students at Saddleback as she could.

 “The original 1913 ballet russe is all about collaboration,” Cavazzi said. “This was a community event and everyone stepped up helping each other out.”

 The dancers in Saddleback’s Rite of Spring began practicing the new choreography every Sunday since Oct . 28, 2012.  They not only have to learn the steps, but they had to learn how to perform using only counts since the piece was going to be played live.

 “It was kind of hard learning to dance along with the live music,” Brittany Rock, 20, dance performer said. “We had only four rehearsals with the musicians, everything else was through tapes.”

 Despite the challenges and hard work the students endured, the audience on both show nights were almost packed with people and they were full of energy.

 “It was good, I liked it. I never heard a piano played that way,” Dave Headen, 24, theatre performing arts major said. “I liked how different it was. It was very interesting to watch.”

 This was the first collaboration of all the Arts Department. Cavazzi, Weston and Gliadkovsky are all looking forward to another collaboration in the future for the Saddleback Arts Department.

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