The Rite of Spring

When the famous ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev asked Stravinsky, who was playing The Rite of Spring for him for the first time on piano: „How much longer will it go on like that?" Stravinsky cordially replied: „Until the end, my dear fellow.

Created by:

Švábová, Mäkelä, Procházka, Smolík, Dörner, Hybler


60 min

The Premiere:



Supported by:

Divadlo bratří Formanů, Matěj Forman, Studio Truhlárna, hlavní město Praha a Ministerstvo kultury ČR, Motus o.s., produkce divadla Alfred ve dvoře

When asked what he most recalled from his childhood in Russia, Stravinsky answered: „Spring which in Russia comes very sharply, suddenly, and powerfully. It erupts in perhaps an hour and it sounds as if the whole world is cracking.

Spring begins the same way in Finland where the collaborator with Handa Gote, musician and performer Pasi Mäkelä is from. The music of Igor Stravinsky’s work and the choreography for it by Vaslav Nijinsky from 1913 are the group’s inspiration.

Handa Gote Research & Development takes part in experiments with dramaturgy, the inclusion of non-theatre elements in its work and the development of its own conception of post-dramatic and post-spectacular theatre. For many years the group has taken inspiration from science and technology. The group conducts continuous research of theatrical language, laboratory work in the fields of sound and light design, all the while questioning these disciplines. (The group promotes the use of the terms visual dramaturgy and light dramaturgy over the term „design“.)

Handa Gote has focussed for some time on ritual, or rather on the meaninglessness and degeneration of ritual today. Not unlike the desperate, naive attempts to save the world through ritual in the performance Rain Dance, these rites cannot achieve their aim, instead they are a grim attempt at staking a territory where old rules still apply.

The Rite of Spring is a concert performed on toys, found objects and old gramophone records, but also a cacophonic opera and a lunatic slapstick show about a battle between two principles. A crazed ritual which searches for the remnants of paganism hidden under the sediment of Christian tradition and secular society.

For The Rite of Spring Finnish musican and performer Pasi Mäkelä joins the Handa Gote collective, with his version of butoh dance enriched by experience with the Zambian Muganda dance and the rituals of the Njau secret society in Africa.