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The Richmond Ballet and the Virginia Symphony, perform “The Rite of Spring” at Norfolk’s Chrysler Hall

Wednesday, May 29. 7:30 p.m.

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SARAH FERGUSON
  • Sarah Ferguson
The tumultuous 1913 premiere of “The Rite of Spring” by composer Igor Stravinsky and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky sent a message to the world: “You have the right to do, feel, see anything. There are no more boundaries.” So says Jerri Kumery, master for Richmond Ballet’s performance of the landmark work depicting violent sacrificial rituals. As the curator of ballets by the late choreographer Salvatore Aiello, she’s been teaching dancers Aiello’s 1993 setting of Stravinsky’s famously belligerent rhythms. “Sal always told dancers: ‘You can’t match the power of this music. You can join forces with it … but if you try to match it, it will break you down,’” Kumery says. Even so, the Richmond Ballet dancers are pushing themselves. “I have a feeling this is going to be one of the strongest performances ever,” she says. Aiello based his retelling on pagan traditions from around the world, rather than specifically pre-Russian practices. The performance comes with a mature-audiences advisory. The Richmond Ballet and the Virginia Symphony, under the direction of JoAnn Falletta, perform “The Rite of Spring” and other works Wednesday, May 29, at 7:30 p.m. at Norfolk’s Chrysler Hall. Information and tickets at vafest.org or by calling 757-282-2822. $20-$60. — Angela Lehman-Rios

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