The Rite of Spring
The Observer, Sunday 15 November 2009
Coliseum, London WC2
…The Bartók was paired with The Rite of Spring, Stravinsky’s ballet dating from the same period, with a story rooted not in the torture chamber of the human soul but in the primal forces of the earth. Paris audiences in 1913 might have rioted at Nijinsky’s version, but this staging, choreographed by Michael Keegan-Dolan of Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, would scarcely have raised a bourgeois eyebrow. Men who might have been Irish dockers humped multifariously, first in dog heads then in flowery dresses. What became of the music, usually so lacerating and alive? With all the dreariness on stage, you quite forgot this was one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. Neither Gardner nor the orchestra sounded happy. The damp squib ending arrived not a moment too soon.
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer