The Rite of Spring Tour 2023

Sadler's Wells Theatre
13th & 14th March 2023

Seeta Patel marries Indian classical dance and Western classical music in her The Rite of Spring, in a London premiere.

Taking the South Indian classical dance form of bharatanatyam, with its intricate rhythmic footwork, geometric and dynamic movements and expressive prowess, Seeta Patel has created a compelling interpretation of the iconic The Rite of Spring.

Patel will open the evening’s show with a solo performance accompanied by South Indian musicians. The piece shows bharatanatyam as it is often performed in a solo format, taking viewers on the journey of Mother Earth from birth to destruction, preparing for her deliverance through The Rite of Spring.

The second part of this evening offers a rare chance to see bharatanatyam performed in an ensemble piece. Unusually, this version subverts tradition by choosing a male as The Chosen One, elevating him to a deity to whom all sacrifice themselves. This is a spiritual exploration of the work through an Eastern philosophical lens.

Accompanied live by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, this is a Rite of Spring but not as you know it.

The Rite of Spring tours later in the year across the South West, including Basingstoke and Poole, and Manchester.
Dates and venues to be announced soon.

Previous praise for The Rite of Spring

Seeta's brand new ensemble work reimagining the iconic Rite of Spring completed a successful UK tour in May 2019.
Here are some press reviews about the work. Make sure you watch this space for next time it tours!

Patel brings out the more lyrical, romantic elements of Stravinsky’s score…instead of an earthy, ominous Rite, through Patel’s eyes the scene is dreamy, the stage glowing (there is lovely lighting from Warren Letton), hand gestures look like plants growing, nature abundant in a place of warmth and wonder.

Patel quickly seizes on the raw, percussive energy of Stravinsky’s chugging music. As the cast of six stamp out its rhythms, it feels like the two very different forms were meant for each other. The dance is energetic, full of intricate footwork and gesture, and of geometric patterns that come and go with ease as the dancers weave around each other…Patel’s Rite is a fascinating diversion from the usual take on the story. It also looks gorgeous thanks to Warren Letton’s lighting and Jason and Anshu Arora’s quirky costumes.

…then The Rite of Spring began and it was fabulous. Peacock-eye fingers jabbed out from thrusting arms, bare feet thumped the floor and bodies prowled the stage in strict geometric formations that carried a powerful emotional drive. The musicality was delicious and the unified sense of purpose was palpable.

Patel has created an authentic dance piece that is truly fresh and original. Her aim to bring Bharatanatyam into a modern age alongside contemporary dance is undoubtedly a success…exploring this new medium through an adapted version of The Rite of Spring is thoroughly enjoyable.

…this is a luscious piece of art…Patel’s work embraces the percussive stamping of Bharatanatyam…at times her choreography weaves the dancers in and out of patterns like a murmuration of starlings…given his unconventional approach to ballet, I feel sure Nijinsky would approve.

The dancers were supremely tight as a unit and performed with relentless energy, intensity and focus. Their small hand gestures were like visual imagist poetry in suggesting new life…Seeta Patel is certainly onto something in looking at such exciting cultural fusions.

BEHIND THE ARRAS: (Birmingham)
Patel directs with a uniquely stunning vision. With Stravinsky’s century-old score as the influencing factor there is a presentation of Bharatanatyam to add a new dimension to the story of the beauty found at springtime…a vibrant, bold, exciting contemporary piece.

…confident, vivid and moving…

Stunning and visually enticing

Seeta Patel has created an evocative, visceral interpretation of The Rite of Spring

The six dancers performed with great energy and precision, effortlessly interweaving east and west dance styles to reveal new layers of Stravinsky’s powerful music in a thought-provoking and powerful interpretation.

Seeta Patel has created a work of impact and ambition which is further enhanced by committed and powerful performances by the ensemble of six dancers…tackling a classic takes great bravery, but in her commanding and utterly convincing interpretation, Patel has created a must-see epic.

The unbelievably intricate footwork characteristic of Bharatanatyam is executed with such speed, tight turns and forceful arm-work that I reel from its frenetic energy and urgency…the dancers’ extended fingers pulse like small daggers, faces remain calm yet expressive…exciting, dynamic.

Promotional trailer of The Rite of Spring