The Rite of Spring
This film is part of the Body Cinema project and the Burgundy International Video Dance Festival dedicated to Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring.
Our fourth extract of the project dedicated to the Rite of Spring includes an interesting collaboration between a Columbian filmmaker and an Italian dancer: a film made in Paris on the rails of the Ligne de Petite Ceinture, a disused railway which once encircled the city.
The dance draws significantly on the concept of trance, with wide, disjointed, chaotic movements, extravagant curves, turns, and the streaming hair of the dancer. Her precarious balance on the rails at the beginning of the film is quickly broken by a crescendo in the music, which in turn provokes a plunge into an unstructured jumble.
The filmmaker’s role is as great as the dancer’s in generating a feeling of spatial ecstasy and vertigo. His filming intensifies the disorientation and jerkiness, giving the film an enduring instability that resonates with Stravinsky’s primitive harmonies.
The location, an abandoned railway leading to an impenetrable tunnel, also contributes to the ritualistic mood that permeates the film. It is an image of dilapidation, of a return to nature, but also of transition to an unknown beyond, even of sexuality. It disengages from this place where there is no human presence, from the fragrances that provoke selfsurrender.
Towards the end of the dance, a micro-choreography exploring the movement of the dancer’s hands returns this fragmented universe to a state of calm. The music also gradually dies away, bringing us quietly to the next section of the film, to the mysterious tunnel that serves as a horizon.
This film, although made with limited resources, effectively communicates the tension of the primordial music of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, a work that evokes a gut response in the listener. This Italian-Columbian duo successfully captures the essence of the music, transposing it to an original setting, creating a piece that inspires trance, amplified by skilful use of découpage.
Some further information about the artists:
Director: Andrés Dávila
Performer: Stefania Rossetti
Text written by the International Festival of Video Dance of Bourgogne.