Florence Peake’s RITE explores the idea of the primal body as a vital force for change.
RITE offers a reinterpretation of a pivotal moment in modernism’s history: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, composed in 1913 for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, the original performance is notorious for the riot it provoked at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on the first night, when theatre-goers apoplectic with anger had to be forcibly removed from the venue.
Peake transposes Stravinsky and Nijinsky’s iconic ballet to what she describes as ‘performative sculpture’. Taking ritual, sacrifice, labour, community and fertility as themes, RITE celebrates the primal power of the body as an expressive force against conservatism.
RITE was developed in 2017 with support from the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project 2017 with partners Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Cambridge Junction, Dance4, Greenwich Dance, LIFT, London College of Fashion, Sadler’s Wells, Site Gallery and Tintype Gallery and through public funding through Arts Council England. RITE was developed at Somerset House Studios and through a related residency at Cass Sculpture Foundation and West Dean College.