Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris
Vaslav Nijnsky, choreographer / Theatre des Champs-Elysees / Pierre Monteux
Stravinsky's first inspiration – ultimately yielding the culminating Danse sacrale – was of "a solemn pagan rite: wise elders, seated in a circle, watching a young girl dance herself to death. They were sacrificing her to propitiate the god of spring." His collaborator Nicholas Roerich – an important painter who was also an archeologist well-versed in folklore – told Diaghilev: "My object is to present a number of scenes of earthly joy and celestial triumph as understood by the Slavs."
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with credit to Boosey & Hawkes/Joseph Horowitz.