Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Backstage with The Buzz: Dance at the Music Center

Experience both Pina Bausch’s “The Rite of Spring & common ground[s]” by Germaine Acogny and Malou Airaudo.

Dance at The Music Center continues its Bold Season with “The Rite of Spring & Common Ground[s].” Be transformed by two incredible dances – one of the 20th century’s most significant pieces and a debut work that responds beautifully to it.

“The Rite of Spring” is a ballet and orchestra concert work by Igor Stravinsky. It was written for the 1913 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilevs Ballets Russes company. The music was first heard in Los Angeles in 1928 performed by the LA Phil.

“The Rite of Spring” is Pina Bausch’s seminal work created in 1975. She asked her dancers “how would you dance if you knew you were going to die?” She faithfully followed Stravinsky’s score which evoked the creative power of spring and was written for the Ballet Russe about the advent of spring and a young girl is chosen as a sacrificial victim.

Some history on the ballet in Los Angeles….
In 1984 Los Angeles had the most amazing Olympics. Mayor Tom Bradley was in charge and he chose Robert Fitzpatrick to head the concurrent arts festival. Pina Bausch was one of the companies brought to LA. She opened the Arts Festival at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. She and her company shocked and delighted us all. I was fortunate enough to see all three of her productions. It definitely was not bland and predictable.
She also returned to the US in 1997 and spent three weeks in residency at UCLA doing workshops. I was working there at the time and we took her on tours through the city. She wanted to see all.

Now the Music Center is bringing us a new version of her vision. It is given new life with more than 30 dancers from 13 African countries.

“Rite” is paired with a new work, “common ground[s],” created, performed and inspired by the lives of two remarkable women who have each juggled roles as choreographers, professors and grandmothers: Germaine Acogny the founder of the Senegalese École des Sables who is widely considered to be “the mother of contemporary African dance” and Malou Airaudo who performed leading roles in many of Bausch’s early works as a member of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. Their tender choreographic response to “Rite” reflects their shared histories, emotional experiences, and common ground.

This is a highly anticipated event and should not be missed.

Postscript: Here’s hoping the next Olympic Arts Festival will be as exciting and wondrous as the last one.

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Sheila Tepper
Sheila Tepper
Backstage with the Buzz is written by Sheila Tepper, Producer Cultural Programming. Sheila has lived in the Larchmont area for fifty years, among her passions have been passing legislation for children with disabilities and interviewing outstanding artists appearing in the Los Angeles area.

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