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Where's Your Awesome 'Rite Of Spring' Video?

Elementary school students in Maplewood, N.J. prepare to enact their own <em>Rite</em>.
courtesy of Seth Boyden Demonstration School
Elementary school students in Maplewood, N.J. prepare to enact their own Rite.

We're celebrating the centennial of Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring in a big way around here. Throughout this coming week and until the actual 100th anniversary Wednesday, May 29th, you'll be hearing, watching and reading some incredible work inspired by this riveting — and game-changing — piece of art.

One of the centerpieces of our Rite week is an invitation to professional artists and the public alike: Take the last minute of Stravinsky's inimitable score — in an exceptional performance by conductor Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra (see the audio below) — and create a new video to go along with this music.

We've been amazed at the entries we've seen so far, and wanted to share a few of them. Who knows? Maybe one of them will stir up your creative juices. Some of our favorite entries thus far: a pagan ritual hilariously transported to a backyard pool; a professional choreographer's shadow-puppet inspired dance; and a sweet celebration created by young schoolchildren and a group of their teachers. (I will admit certain bias on the last video, as one of those adorable children is mine; so is the amateur camerawork and editing.)

All fired up to participate? You've still got time. (And is there any better way to spend a long weekend?) There are only a couple of things to keep in mind.

  • Rule No. 1: You have to use the music above. And you have to leave the music alone, just as we've provided it. You can't sing over it, speak over it, play over it, create your own musical arrangement or otherwise embellish the recorded music in any way.
  • Rule No. 2: Upload your finished video to YouTube between now and May 28. Please use the tag #ritenpr so we can find your work! (You can also share a link with us in the comments section of this page or tweet us @nprclassical.)
  • The rest is up to you. Dance, improvise movement, make an animated short, create a time-lapse video. Dream big. Show us your creativity. Be playful, serious, witty, exuberant, whatever you want. (Keep it clean, though! And human sacrifice is strongly discouraged.)

    Please note: We've found that some folks are encountering automatically triggered "Content ID" flags when they've posted their videos to YouTube, with a note that Universal Music Group holds copyright on the audio recording we're using. Don't worry — both UMG and music publisher Boosey & Hawkes are enthusiastically supporting this project, and YouTube knows about it as well. So you're not doing anything that isn't on the up and up.

    If you encounter this issue, here's all you have to do: Dispute the claim — and then tick off the button under "Dispute" that says "This video uses the copyrighted material at issue, but with the appropriate license or written permission from the copyright owner." That's the one you want, because you do have permission, via NPR Music. And your video will post just fine.

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

    Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.
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