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"The Rite of Spring" by Mariinsky Ballet Screening

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Venue Date & Time Price
Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Space Museum
Free Admission

The Rite of Spring


Premiered on 29 May 1913

Composed by Igor Stravinsky

Choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky

Performed by Les Ballet Russes


The premiere of Le Sacre du Printemps (known as The Rite of Spring in English) by Sergei Diaghilev’s Les Ballet Russes at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 1913 totally redefined the audience's perception of ballet as an artistic expression of harmony and elegance. With Vaslav Nijinsky as the choreographer and Igor Stravinsky as the composer, the controversial ballet challenged the audience's aesthetic senses with its stiff dance movements and strident music.  Some among the audience were so disturbed that a riot broke out in the theatre at the premiere.


The avant-garde and innovative style of The Rite of Spring inspired a later generation of choreographers.  Numerous dance artists have their own interpretations, including such prominent names as Martha Graham, Pina Bausch, Kenneth MacMillan, Paul Taylor and Lin Hwai-min. 


About the Programme


The Rite of Spring by Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra

Composed by Igor Stravinsky

Choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky


Video Screening

Vaslav Nijinsky's The Rite of Spring was inspired by Russian tribal sacrificial rites. After its premiere in 1913, The Rite of Spring had only a few more performances before World War I broke out, Nijinsky's original version was lost in the process.  It was not until 1987 when dance historians Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer reconstructed Nijinsky's version after years of research that it appeared again on stage by The Joffrey Ballet.  The present screening is the restored version of Nijinsky performed by the Mariinsky Ballet, with music accompaniment by the Theatre's Orchestra, conducted by Valery Gergiev. 

France/ 2008/ Colour/ 35’ / DVD


Additional Talk

Speakers: Stella Lau, Shirley Loong

Stella Lau, Ballet Lecturer of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, will be joined by Shirley Loong, Ex-education and Outreach Director of Hong Kong Ballet, to discuss the role of Nijinsky’s The Rite of Spring in the dance history, meanwhile guiding us to appreciate this influential piece of work on the development of modern dance.


In Cantonese


Running time to the screening with talk is about 1 hour 30 minutes with no intermission.


About the Speakers


Stella Lau

Lau is a renowned ballet practitioner in Hong Kong.  She developed her passion in dance and ballet in particular while in secondary school.  Her first ballet teacher was M M Chau.  In 1982 Lau began her professional training at the Hong Kong Academy of Ballet where she was twice awarded scholarships from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund.  Upon graduation in 1985 she joined the Hong Kong Ballet and started her performing career.  In 1990 Lau eventually became the first locally trained dancer to be promoted to the principal rank.  Her repertoire encompassed the classical as well as the modern genre. For her artistic achievements Lau was named in the Hong Kong Dance Hall of Fame.


In 1995 Lau embarked on a different journey - that of dance education.  She furthered her dance studies at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.  She graduated from the BFA in Dance program with first class honours in 1997 and the MFA in Dance program in 2010.  Lau has been appointed as full time ballet lecturer at the Academy since 2002.  Lau is also actively involved with bringing dance to the community by giving talks, seminars and workshops.  She is also the panel member of Arts Development Council with a view to further develop the local dance scene.


Shirley Loong

Born in Hong Kong, Loong began her ballet training under Jean M. Wong at the age of nine.  She enrolled in the National Ballet School of Canada in Toronto, Canada in 1986, and upon graduation received further training in the John Cranko School in Stuttgart, Germany.  Loong joined the Hong Kong Ballet as dancer in 1990 and was promoted to coryphée two years later.  She later obtained her Bachelor of Commerce in Australia before she returned to Hong Kong to embark on a career in dance education.  She was the General Manager of the Hong Kong Ballet for four years, and was commissioned to serve as Arts Advisor (till 2008) and Examiner (to date) with the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.  She joined the Hong Kong Ballet again in 2005, serving as Education and Outreach Director until July 2011.  Recently she has been overseeing projects for integrating Buddhist inspiration with ballet, preaching Buddhism through dance.




Registration is required. Limited quota on a first-come-first-served basis


Registration and Enquiries: 2268 7223


The contents of this programme do not represent the views of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

The presenter reserves the right to substitute speakers and change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.



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