Seeta Patel Dance presents a compelling bharatanatyam interpretation of The Rite of Spring at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in a London premiere on Monday 13 & Tuesday 14 March 2023. This piece is an expanded version of Patel’s 2019 work which sees a first-time collaboration between Seeta Patel Dance and the full Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) to perform Stravinsky’s iconic score live under the baton of its Chief Conductor, Kirill Karabits.
This production tours later in the year across the south west, including Basingstoke and Poole. Audiences can also experience Patel’s live interpretation, alongside a specially recorded performance from Karabits and the BSO, at The Lowry in Salford, in November.
The classical South Indian dance form of bharatanatyam, normally seen in solo presentations, is danced by an ensemble in this production, and this version unusually subverts tradition with a male dancer as The Chosen One – elevating him to a deity to whom all sacrifice themselves.
By associating Stravinsky’s work and bharatanatyam dance, Patel seeks to bridge the gap between classical Indian dance and Western culture.
Seeta Patel is an award-winning choreographer and dancer from London. She has worked with a range of bharatanatyam and contemporary dance professionals including Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company and Mavin Khoo. She actively supports emerging dance talents through her choreographic and mentoring work.
Talking about this production and the new collaboration with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Patel said: “I have been developing The Rite of Spring over several years now, and the work has seen various iterations throughout this journey.
“I am incredibly excited and grateful to be collaborating with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and their incredible Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits to bring the work to its full glory with an ensemble and a full orchestra. It has been a great experience bringing together the powerful art forms of classical music and bharatanatyam dance, and I feel very privileged to be working with such brilliant dancers who are joining us from all over the world.
“Sadler’s Wells audiences can expect vibrancy, rhythm and expression in a joyous celebration of music and dance.”
Originally from Ukraine, Kirill Karabits has been the Chief Conductor of the BSO since 2008. He is known for championing undiscovered symphonic works from former Soviet countries through his acclaimed series, Voices from the East. Together with the BSO, he has brought attention to works that fuse Eastern influences with the traditional symphony orchestra.
Kirill Karabits, Chief Conductor of the BSO, brings a fresh perspective to Stravinsky’s masterpiece as dancers and musicians unite. He said: “Stravinsky’s mighty score, The Rite of Spring, is a massive thrill to perform and is a work that, thanks to its fusion of traditions and techniques, has continued to ignite ideas and inspire both artists and audiences for over a century.
“I can’t wait to bring it to life and hope this new production, which unites bharatanatyam dance with Stravinsky’s original score, will shine a new light on this endlessly fascinating work.”
The Rite of Spring is co-commissioned by Sadler’s Wells.
British Sign Language Interpreted Post-Show Talk on Monday 13 March.