Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is often hailed as the genesis of a new, abrasive, aesthetic—the clarion call for the modernist movement. While the performance certainly appeals to the modernist ideal of fragmentation with its un-balletic dancers, jarring meter, and dissonant sounds, The Rite’s detachment from intention and convention creates a purely visceral effect that startles the audience. This archaic effect stimulates an encounter with the Shadow, a Jungian archetype that embodies the darkness of human character and evokes primal images that lay hidden within the collective unconsciousness. While the Shadow is indeed troubling, The Rite urges the audience to embrace the archetype, as well as its potential to enrich a world that is unfettered from convention.

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Edward Cutler

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The Shadow’s Symphony: Archetypal Awakening in Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring

Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is often hailed as the genesis of a new, abrasive, aesthetic—the clarion call for the modernist movement. While the performance certainly appeals to the modernist ideal of fragmentation with its un-balletic dancers, jarring meter, and dissonant sounds, The Rite’s detachment from intention and convention creates a purely visceral effect that startles the audience. This archaic effect stimulates an encounter with the Shadow, a Jungian archetype that embodies the darkness of human character and evokes primal images that lay hidden within the collective unconsciousness. While the Shadow is indeed troubling, The Rite urges the audience to embrace the archetype, as well as its potential to enrich a world that is unfettered from convention.