Pictures of the Pagan Russia in Two Parts
by Igor Sravinsky and Nicolas Roerich


  Igor Stravinsky

Millicent Hodson
inspired by Vaslav Nijinsky

  after Nicolas Roerich
reconstructed and supervised
by Kenneth Archer

35 min.


World Premiere
Ballets Russes, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
Paris, May 29, 1913

Original Cast    
An Old Woman,
300 years old
  Ludmilla Guliuk
The Sage
  Alexander Vorontzov
The Chosen Virgin
  Marie Piltz


Premiere of the reconstructed version
The Joffrey Ballet, Los Angeles, September 30, 1987

Original Cast    
An Old Woman,
300 years old
  Carole Valleskey
The Sage
  Paul Shoemaker
The Chosen Virgin
  Beatriz Rodriguez


Premiere with The Hamburg Ballet
Hamburg, June 28, 2009

Original Cast    
An Old Woman,
300 years old
  Silvia Azzoni
The Sage
  Lloyd Riggins
The Chosen Virgin
  Silvia Azzoni



Synopsis and Scenes
Synopsis as in the original program of the creation

Part I
L’Adoration de la terre – Adoration of the Earth

Les Augures Printaniers, Danses des Adolescentes
The Augurs of Spring, Dances of the Young Girls
Jeu du Rapt
Ritual of Abduction
Rondes Printanières
Spring Rounds
Jeu des Cités Rivales
Ritual of the Rival Tribes
Cortège du Sage
Procession of the Sage
Le Sage, Adoration de la Terre
The Sage, Adoration of the Earth
Danse de la Terre
Dance of the Earth

Part II
Le Sacrifice – The Sacrifice

Cercles Mystérieux des Adolescentes
Mystic Circles of the Young Girls
Glorification de l'Élue
Glorification of the Chosen One
Évocation des Ancêtres
Evocation of the Ancestors
Action rituelle des Ancêtres
Ritual Action of the Ancestors
Danse Sacrale (L'Élue)
Sacrificial Dance (The Chosen One)


Biography – Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer

Dance and design team Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer are based in London, they reconstruct modern masterpieces and create productions through their partnership Ballets Old and New. Hodson is a choreographer and graphic artist. Archer is a scenic consultant and art historian. They have staged productions for such companies as the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, Kirov Ballet, Paris Opéra Ballet, Le Ballet de MonteCarlo, Royal Swedish Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Zurich Ballet, La Scala Ballet, Rome Opera Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and the Joffrey Ballet. They have reconstructed works by Nijinsky ("The Rite of Spring", "Jeux", "Till Eulenspiegel") and Balanchine ("Valse triste", "Le Chant du Rossignol", "La Chatte", "Le Bal", "Cotillon") and Borlin ("Dervishes", "Skating Rink", "La Création du Monde", "Within the Quota"). Reconstructions-in-progress include "Chout", Borlin's "L'Homme et son désir" and "Relâche" and Balanchine's "Concurrence". Their original works include "Homage to Isadora Duncan", "Medea" and "Her Children", "Ariadne and the Minotaur", "Clytemnestra", "Les Valses", "Polarities", "Theogonies" and "Pas d'Acier". They are currently working on "The Nocturnal Dances of Don Juan Quixote" (Paris and Helsinki), "Akhmatova Dance Poems" (London) and Nijinsky's "Last Dance" (London). Several television programmes have been made about their productions, among them "The Search for Nijinsky's Rite of Spring" (WNET, NY/BBC, 1989), "Les printemps du Sacre" (ARTE, 1992) and the award-winning "4 Emperors & 1 Nightingale" about "Le Chant du Rossignol" (DUTCH TV 2002). The BBC is produced a docudrama about the first night of "The Rite of Spring". Production sketches by Hodson and Archer have been exhibited internationally. Hodson, who regularly presents her drawings at Gallery K, London, has exhibited in the USA, Europe and Japan. Both frequently publish articles on dance and design and Archer has written for "Art History" and the "Macmillan Dictionary of Art" (UK) and "Pinakoteke" (Moscow). He published "Nicholas Roerich" (Parkstone, 1999). Hodson published "Nijinsky's Crime Against Grace", her book of dance drawings for "The Rite of Spring" (Pendragon, 1996). They give lectures and master classes for museums and universities worldwide.



This work ... changes everything, ... alters the very source of all our aesthetic judgements . ... It marks a date not just in the history of dance and music, but in the history of all the arts. Its beauty spills over into everything.
Jacques Rivière, Nouvelle Revue Française, 1913
(for the world premiere, Paris 1913)

The Rite of Spring is an astonishing ballet, no less so today than in 1913. Nijinsky's genius as a choreographer bursts forth here in the originality of his vision, the depth of his musicality and the grand sense of inevitability that reigns over the whole. Inspired by Roerich, a specialist in the primitive iconography of pagan Russia, Nijinsky created a movement style that would embody both the logic and the frenzy of Stravinsky's music.
(for the premiere of the reconstruction, 1987)

Nijinsky created a piece of art, which even today with his complexity is astonishing, numbing, fascinating.
Hamburger Abendblatt
(Performance of "Sacre" by the Joffrey Ballet during the 15th Hamburg Ballet-Days, 1989)



"Keeping Score" by San Francisco Symphony is a very well made Website that explore the work of Stravinsky, Roerich, Nijinsky and Diaghilev with in-depth interactive content.

Commentaries by
Michael Tilson Thomas, Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer

Keeping Score


go backprint