Seeta Patel returns to Kala Sangam with a new interpretation of The Rite of Spring

Award-winning choreographer and performer Seeta Patel has re-imagined the iconic ballet, The Rite of Spring in the powerful classical Indian dance style, Bharatanatyam. With a cast of six outstanding performers, the show comes to Kala Sangam on Thursday 23 May at 7.30pm.

Composer Igor Stravinsky wrote The Rite of Spring, the ballet and orchestral concert – widely considered to be his masterpiece – for the 1913 season of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.  When it premiered at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation and continues to be influential over a century later.

This is the first time this music, traditionally performed as a classical ballet, has been interpreted through Indian dance. The piece is also unusual for its use of 12 dancers, as Bharatanatyam is normally performed as a solo work. Moving away from cultural baggage and traditions, this production shows dance and music combined as a celebration of life and is a must see for fans of all styles of dance.

The Rite of Spring has been choreographed by many different artists and companies over the years,” says Seeta Patel. “Nijinsky, Pina Bausch, Maurice Bejart to name a few.  But this will be the first time ever it will be done with the Bharatanatyam dance form. I was just at Kala Sangam in October with my one woman show Not Today’s Yesterday in October 2018. It’s been great rehearsing The Rite of Spring in the lovely studios and I look forward to presenting the show there.”

Patel’s production is set to be an exciting flirtation between East and West as it looks beyond notions of the exotic and orientalist perceptions of Eastern classical arts. The piece will showcase some of the finest international Indian classical dance talent in an exciting bridge between two very technical, powerful and evocative art forms: Western classical music and Indian classical dance, with Stravinsky’s iconic music.  Seeta Patel will bring a transformative re-telling of this tale through intricate rhythmic footwork, expressive prowess, geometric and dynamic movement.

Stravinsky’s epic score gains a fresh perspective in Seeta Patel’s production through the use of Bharatanatyam, the dancers’ knowledge of Indian classical music to interpret the rhythms, and production design referencing the parched earth, the need for spring rain and the birth of new life.

Alex Croft, Creative Director of Kala Sangam said, “At Kala Sangam we look to bring the very best, innovative South Asian performances to Bradford. Seeta Patel is one of the most exciting choreographers in the UK at the moment and this new, fresh approach to The Rite of Spring is one that I’m sure will appeal to anyone who loves dance, music or is just looking for a fantastic night out!”

The event also includes a post-show discussion, where audiences will have the opportunity to ask Seeta Patel any burning questions they might have.

Kala Sangam – Bradford’s intercultural Arts Centre – is the perfect setting for audiences new to dance. This spring, Kala Sangam introduced a new ‘Pay What You Decide’ pricing structure for most events. Under the new system, tickets can be booked in advance as usual but audiences don’t pay until they have seen the show. This allows people to not only pay what they can afford, but also decide on a price based on their experiences of a show.

Tickets for The Rite of Spring are now on sale, to book visit or call the Box Office on 01274 303340.