The Rite of Spring
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rite_of_SpringPremiere after undergoing revisions almost up until the very day of its first performance, the ballet was premiered by the Ballets Russes on Thursday, 29 May 1913 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, conducted by Pierre Monteux.
The premiere involved one of the most famous classical music riots in history. The intensely rhythmic score and primitive scenario and choreography shocked the audience that was accustomed to the elegant conventions of classical ballet.
The complex music and violent dance steps depicting fertility rites first drew catcalls and whistles from the crowd. At the start, some members of the audience began to boo loudly. There were loud arguments in the audience between supporters and opponents of the work. These were soon followed by shouts and fistfights in the aisles. The unrest in the audience eventually degenerated into a riot. The Paris police arrived by intermission, but they restored only limited order. Chaos reigned for the remainder of the performance. Fellow composer Camille Saint-Saëns famously stormed out of the première allegedly infuriated over the misuse of the bassoon in the ballet's opening bars (though Stravinsky later said "I do not know who invented the story that he was present at, but soon walked out of, the premiere.") .
Stravinsky ran backstage, where Diaghilev was turning the lights on and off in an attempt to try to calm the audience. Nijinsky stood on a chair, leaned out (far enough that Stravinsky had to grab his coat-tail), and shouted counts to the dancers, who were unable to hear the orchestra (this was challenging because Russian numbers above ten are polysyllabic, such as eighteen: vosemnadsat vs. seventeen: semnadsat).
After the premiere, Diaghilev is reported to have commented to Nijinsky and Stravinsky at dinner that the scandal was "exactly what I wanted."
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