The imagery in The Rite of Spring is dark, shocking, violent and sexual. The rhythmic elements of the music are played out in scenes of a pagan fertility rite, as age is sacrificed and mother earth is worshipped.
By contrast Petrushka is bright and light. Elements of folk dances and warmer days are conjured as the company dances for approval from their ancestors. An echo of Petrushka the puppet is there too!
Rite is about dark elemental forces, about power and violence while Petrushka is about aspiration, salvation and spiritual enlightenment. Performed by an international cast of 13, both of Michael Keegan-Dolan’s works are theatrical interpretations of the original music that created such outrage and excitement in the early 20th century.