This is the first of 13 posts, writer/collaborator/sage's Kate Mattingly and Liz Ivkovich present writing inspired by NOW-ID’s Rite of Spring work-in-development, loosely paralleling the 13 episodes of the original by Stravinsky and Nijinski. See our current project page for Liz and Kate’s bios!

Together, Kate and Liz lay out below, the topics and considerations for their statements…

1. Thinking together about relationships among writing, creative processes, and performing, Kate and Liz will be contributing weekly posts on the Rite of Spring.

2. Connected by a shared love of critical thinking, dance theory, rigorous approaches, and dismantling the patriarchy, Liz and Kate will share thoughts, questions, perspectives, and contexts.

3. Loosely based on the 13-part structure of Stravinsky’s score for the Rite of Spring (created in 1913), each week will introduce a different facet of the project.

4. As we discussed this idea with Charlotte, we were both drawn to Charlotte’s idea that this writing offers a reflective platform, a sounding board, and a container for ideas that inform and respond to Charlotte’s creative process.

5. In Kate’s research, she analyzes how criticism is not a reflection of a performance but a form of writing that sets in motion the criteria and frameworks we use to engage with dance.

6. In Liz’s research, she analyzes how race, class, and gender influence the distribution of environmental goods and bads, and why these issues are among our most pressing concerns.

7. The Rite of Spring is a rich site to investigate questions about the patriarchy, reconstruction, critical sustainability, and environmental justice.

8. By situating this performance outdoors, Now-ID creates a distinct opportunity to highlight the fraught relationships between urban development and displacement. 

9.  Some of the ideas that propel our thinking include:

- Human imbrications in environments, rather than human domination or control of environs;

- Relationships between materials and humans, and ultimately humans and worldviews;

- Access to knowledge that is not linguistic but sensory, and how this knowledge reveals a worldview that is fundamentally interdependent.

10. We view dance criticism and theory as reciprocal and interdependent forms of writing. We hope to highlight why writing is important to dancing.

11. We take inspiration from Rebecca Solnit, who advocates for a “counter-criticism” that “seeks to expand the work of art, by connecting it, opening up its meanings, inviting in the possibilities. A great work of criticism can liberate a work of art, to be seen fully, to remain alive, to engage in a conversation that will not ever end but will instead keep feeding the imagination. Not against interpretation, but against confinement, against the killing of the spirit.” 

12. Writing from outside of the process, Kate will focus on historical contexts, theoretical frameworks, and anecdotes from her 23-year friendship with Charlotte.

13. Writing from within the process, Liz will focus on sensorial and theoretical engagements with the material that is cultivated as the Rite of Spring comes into being.