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Florence Peake – Rite: on This Pliant Body We Slip Our Wow!

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Florence Peake’s RITE uses performance, film, painting and sculpture to explore the idea of the primal body as a vital force for change.

Free open rehearsal – Friday 4 May, 2 – 4pm
Performance – Sunday 6 May, 7pm. (16+, contains nudity) Book here

The De La Warr Pavilion will premiere a new work in the First floor gallery, a performance by six dancers that takes place on a floor of seven tonnes of wet clay. Using materials that remain, the work will unfold into a summer-long exhibition. RITE offers a layered reinterpretation of a pivotal moment in modernism’s history: Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, composed in 1913 for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, the original performance is notorious for the riot it provoked in Paris on the first night, when theatre-goers apoplectic with anger at the performance had to be forcibly removed from the venue.

Peake, who works across media, transposes Stravinsky and Nijinsky’s iconic ballet to what she describes as ‘performative sculpture’. Taking ritual, sacrifice, labour, community and fertility as themes, RITE celebrates the primal power of the body as an expressive force against conservatism.

Research on RITE was generously supported by the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project with partners Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Cambridge Junction, Dance4, Greenwich Dance, LIFT, London College of Fashion, Sadler’s Wells, Site Gallery, Tintype Gallery and by public funding through Arts Council England. RITE was developed through residencies at Somerset House Studios, Site Gallery and Cass Sculpture Foundation in partnership with West Dean College and through a solo show at Studio Leigh in London.


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