Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” Reimagined in “Vernae”

Posted on April 03, 2015, 7:18 pm
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Tonight and tomorrow night, Northwest Film Forum hosts Vernae, an immersive experience of live performance, sculptural and sound installation, and film screening. This collaboration, features 29 local and international artists and is based on Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring, one of the most influential works of the twentieth century, and certainly one of the most documented.

At its 1913 premiere, the music of Rite in combination with Nijinsky’s “primal” choreography unleashed the much-documented riot, with audience members assaulting each other and later the orchestra. After initial offenders were ejected, the remaining audience watched the rest of the performance in relative silence and the performers received several curtain calls. It was an awakening into an aesthetic that would come to dominate much of the twentieth century.

Just over a hundred years later, Vernae, explores similar concepts: “contagion, urge, and sacrifice through experimental, abstracted representations of ritual.” In a welcome return to the earlier practices of classical music, Vernae will allow audience members to explore and interact with this “expansive, richly transformed environment” for the duration of the performance.

Attendees are advised that the performance may contain nudity and flashing lights.

Further information and list of participants can be found here.

Vernae @ Northwest Film Forum

When:  Friday, April 3 at 7 PM.  Saturday, April 4 at 7 PM.

Where:  Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave)

Tickets available through

Johann Van Niekerk is a writer, conductor and collaborative artist based in Seattle, WA. He holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Washington where his research focused on the role that music has played throughout history in effecting social change. Van Niekerk covers performing arts events in and around Seattle.