I was a ballet student when I listened to Stravinsky's Sacre consciously for the first time. It was during our first orchestral rehearsal and I was so fascinated by the sound of the orchestra and the dancers of the Leipzig Opera, it actually made me miss my cue. It took the the chief choreographer to yell „Where are the ballet students?“ for me to be torn from my dreams and to run out onto the stage.
What has impressed me ever since is this musical rush that grabs you, wild and full of dissonances. The music has a story to tell, it creates an atmosphere of a new beginning.
I didn't know back then, that there were riots in the auditorium when Sacre had its world premiere in Paris in 1913. How great is that? What does it take for art to evoke such spontaneous emotions? This creative intensity, you can still feel it.
The plot is about a spring sacrifice in pre-Christian Russia. A young woman is sacrificed for the common good of her people. With her death dance she appeases the spring god and thus enables the community to survive. Stravinsky's classic is about the awakaning of nature and the constant renewal of the world. It is also about how we are the most important contributors in this. Le Sacre du Printemps' reminds us, that only we humans are responsible for how we live together.
Just like in pagan Russia, we still take decisions every day about how we, as a community, are going to live in the future. Art is a way to remind us of this responsibility.