HUNT, Finnish choreographer Tero Saarinen's take on what we know as the Sacrificial Dance from Le Sacre du Printemps debuted in 2002 in the states, perhaps 2001 in Europe and one thing is certain: he got it right. I always wanted to write about this but didn't for some reason. I've often talked with my father about choreographers' inability to resist Stravinsky's occasional "countable" pounding or sheer chaos. Everyone either stamps in the opening to match the staccato or flails in spaces of musical confusion which I think is a great place to do as little as possible. To be honest and you may have caught on - I think most ballets set to "The Rite" are like ballet blasphemy. My great grandfather never spoke a word of English until the topic of Stravinsky came up. Slavic my ass.
Anyway...Hacks and misinterpreters run straight to sex and the libretto gives license to create a victim, He didn't, When he stood perfectly still and let the projection dance ON him...I thought "alright. there's one that doesn't suck". He made it an event.
The alarming chaos of Stravinsky's final minutes can not be matched by movement of the body really...but perhaps only by eavesdropping on someone's disquieting thoughts as they descend into madness which is what The Chosen One would have been doing (note to Iosifidi of the Marinsky: you looked like you were thinking about what to throw up for dinner).
Ok,..I wrote this in 2011?? And I still think miss Iosifidi is not in touch with the performance, But she is absolutely adorable and sweet. I am officially swearing off the criticism
The breaks in the chaotic structure of the music - and it is not structured - seem similar to shaking ones head to stop the insanity from winning but The Chosen One is dying. So doing that, shaking her head, is an embarrassing effort on one hand and almost regal on the other. Nijinsky captured that, Pietragalla with her performance especially, by matching the music and the insanity of Stravinsky's dark story but madness becomes stillness at some point and Tero Saarinen got us to that point in HUNT with his brilliant use of light and projected image making his ballet a true piece of performance art.
The images remained in pace with the music: dark and chaotic, flashing randomly in a disturbing way almost like a crowd murmuring louder and louder; Saarinen's face is dramatic, simply over the top and still and he allowed the music to just unravel because of it. It seems circular to me against his performance, the music, as if it peeling off of him. I still see The Chosen One hitting the lunge against the trombone and timpani or the jump with the fist in the air and I will never NOT see that when I hear Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. But Tero Saarinen's HUNT pulled together pieces previously left behind in my opinion to make a whole experience. Saarinen's HUNT is a multi-media performance piece and that's why it reaches these different heights
In some ways, I don't believe his work should be a part of the Four Variants (this video which displays the best choreographies to The Rite of Spring) . I actually think there is one variant. And Saarinen? This is high art for people who think high art is couture. I like an artist who throws the finger, I think he did. I hope he did.
(NOTE: THERE ARE ONLY 2 VARIANTS,SO SAY I: Sorry Pina and I can't believe that other asshole was included.