In 1913, Nijinsky's Rite of Spring
at the Ballet Russes evoked foot-stomping primitives. In the 1970s, Béjart's white-clad dancers suggested a mating ritual of uber hipsters, and in the 1980s, Pina Bausch's fevered tribe sacrificed one of its own amid a stage deeply covered with peat. What more could a choreographer do with Stravinsky's iconic Rite of Spring
score? In The Oracle
, Meryl Tankard's answer is to skip the tribal hordes and go in a completely different direction, filling the music with one extraordinary solo performer, Paul White. The Oracle
premiered at the Sydney Opera House in September 2009 and finally arrives here. Better known in Europe than in the United States, Tankard danced with Bausch's company before returning to Australia, where she led several major contemporary-dance ensembles and built a reputation as an in-demand choreographer. Tankard generously employs celebrated Australian dancer White's gymnastic skills and his ability to amplify small isolations as well as erupt with the tremendous power required by Stravinsky's music. The event is part of the ongoing festival celebrating the 100th anniversary of Rite of Spring
and comes with the alert that nudity is involved. Irvine Barclay Theater, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine; Tues., Feb. 26, 8 p.m.; $22-$32, $11-$16 under 30. (949) 854-4646, thebarclay.org.
Tue., Feb. 26, 8 p.m., 2013