Combining forms of media installation and dance concert, The Sacre Project re‑envisioned The Rite of Spring as a radically deconstructed performance event evoking themes of ritual, polyphony and embodiment. The project featured work by three choreographers, seven designers and over forty dancers, and incorporated computer-generated visuals with a processed audio soundscape.
At the beginning of the piece, the digital media installation remixed sections of The Rite of Spring musical score, presented with small groups of dancers in sculptural structures arranged around the room. Audience members walked through this gallery-like setting to watch and listen on their own individual terms and choose the degree to which they would engage with scenic and performative elements. As the piece progressed, dancers gradually transformed the space from a free-form exploratory experience to a single-focus performance environment, and the event concluded with the sacrificial dance staged on a central platform.
Igor Stravinsky’s iconic score for The Rite of Spring had its first performance in Paris in 1913 with choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky and scenic design by Nicholas Roerich. The Sacre Project, presented in California in 2013, used new choreography processed and interpreted through digital video projections, accompanied by a electronic soundscape based on Stravinsky’s score. Originally produced at UC Irvine, the project subsequently was restaged with Pacific Symphony at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.