Sun, sand, human sacrifice: Rite of Spring danced on a beach as the world shut down

Sun, sand, human sacrifice: Rite of Spring danced on a beach as the world shut downJune 24, 2020

They flew to Senegal to create an electrifying version of the Pina Bausch classic with her son. Then coronavirus struck. Would they have time to dance the horrifying masterpiece for a film crew at sunset?

Dresses rippling in the wind, sand beneath their feet, a sky fading to a heathery dusk as dancers sway and thrash to the urgent, ominous chords of Stravinsky’s music. This is Pina Bausch’s Rite of Spring as it’s never been seen before.

Earlier this year, proving yet again that some remarkable moments can come out of global crisis, 38 dancers from 14 African countries gathered at the Ecole des Sables, a dance school an hour from the Senegalese capital, Dakar. They were there to recreate Bausch’s 1975 masterpiece, a reinterpretation of the infamous Ballets Russes work depicting the pagan ritual of a sacrificial maiden dancing herself to death.

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