Charleston Gaillard Center Presents

The Rite of Spring / common ground[s]
Pina Bausch / Germaine Acogny and Malou Airaudo | A Pina Bausch Foundation, Ecole des Sables and Sadler’s Wells production

No upcoming perfomances found for this event.

About the Show

Gut-wrenching brilliance…[this cast] delivers Bausch’s shattering vision with devastating force.

The Guardian (UK)

Named a Critic’s Pick by The New York Times!

“How would you dance, if you knew you were going to die?” This is the central question asked by the late choreographer Pina Bausch of her dancers in 1975 when she created her seminal work The Rite of Spring, which examines unyielding ritual when the sacrifice of a “chosen one” changes the season from winter to spring. This pioneering work, establishing her iconic approach, has gone on to become one of the 20th century’s most significant and important bodies of dance theater.

Faithful to Stravinsky’s visceral score, Bausch’s monumental choreography is given a thrilling new life by a specially assembled company of more than 30 dancers from 14 African countries. Danced on a peat-covered stage, they clash and engage in a wild and poetic struggle of life, ritual, and sacrifice that pays tribute to her unparalleled genius.

Rite is paired with a new work created, performed, and inspired by the lives of two remarkable choreographers, professors, and grandmothers: Germaine Acogny, the founder of the Senegalese École des Sables who is widely considered to be “the mother of contemporary African dance,” and Malou Airaudo, who performed leading roles in many of Bausch’s early works as a member of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. This poetic and tender antidote to Rite reflects their shared histories, emotional experiences, and common ground.

presented with support from the College of Charleston Department of Theater and Dance

As the community of dancers build to a climax, a sense of foreboding in the air, the combination of grace and visceral fury in their movement is electrifying.

The Times

Please note this production contains partial nudity.


Program* Below:

common ground[s] (30 Minutes)
Co-Choreographers and Dancers: Germaine Acogny and Malou Airaudo
Composer: Fabrice Bouillon LaForest
Costume Designer: Petra Leidner
Lighting Designer: Zeynep Kepekli
Dramaturg: Sophiatou Kossoko


The Rite of Spring (37 Minutes)
Choreography: Pina Bausch
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Set and Costumes: Rolk Borzik
Collaboration: Hans Pop
World Premiere: 3 December 1975, Opera House Wuppertal
Artistic Directors: Josephine Ann Endicott, Jorge Puerta Armenta, Clémentine Deluy
Rehearsal Directors: Çağdaş Ermiş, Ditta Miranda Jasjfi, Barbara Kaufmann, Julie Shanahan, Kenji Takag

*Subject to change.

Program Support

Support for this program is made possible by generous donors who have committed time and resources to the Charleston Gaillard Center’s Dance Initiative.

Co-produced with Théâtre de la Ville, Paris; Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; Holland Festival, Amsterdam; Festspielhaus, St Pölten; Ludwigsburg Festival; Teatros del Canal de la Comunidad de Madrid, Adelaide Festival and Spoleto Festival dei 2Mondi

The project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the International Coproduction Fund of the Goethe-Institut, and kindly supported by the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch.


This project is funded in part by

Student & Teacher Tickets

The Charleston Gaillard Center’s Education & Community Program is pleased to announce student and teacher tickets are available for this performance. Limited availability. Limited to two tickets per person with valid student/teacher ID.

Tickets available in advance: Tickets are $20 (plus applicable fees) for Green seats on seatmap. Ticket purchasers must pick up their tickets at Will Call the night of the performance.

Photo credit: Maarten Vanden Abeele

Please note that for this performance online purchases have a limit of eight (8) tickets per customer. To purchase additional tickets or to inquire about group sales, please contact the ticket office directly at (843) 242-3099.