Pina Bausch / Germaine Acogny & Malou Airaudo – The Rite of Spring / common ground[s]

Event Introduction

The stage is covered in peat, and sweat stains the dancers’ dresses. The Rite of Spring depicts a ritual human sacrifice required for winter to turn into spring.

Having premiered in 1975, the work is among those best known by Pina Bausch, the most influential European choreographer of her time, who visited Helsinki Festival in 2005. The work is based on the music composed by Igor Stravinsky, which shook cultural circles in 1913. The raw power of Stravinsky’s composition and Bausch’s choreography – both emotional and physical – has not gone stale with age.

At Helsinki Festival, The Rite of Spring will be performed by ensemble of more than 30 dancers  from 14 different African countries. “Gut-wrenching brilliance”, The Guardian characterised their powerful performance.

The joint evening opens with the duet common ground[s]. The new work is created, performed and inspired by the lives of two remarkable women: Germaine Acogny, a pioneer of African contemporary dance, and Malou Airaudo, one of the early leading members of Pina Bausch’s dance group. Both are in their seventies. This poetic and tender piece, the duo’s first collaboration, examines their shared histories and emotional experiences.

“This cast, a tight community assembled from scratch, is immersed in both wrenchingly abstracted and realistic movement.”

“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.”


A Pina Bausch Foundation, École des Sables & Sadler’s Wells production

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

common ground[s]

Co-Choreographers and Dancers: Germaine Acogny, Malou Airaudo
Composer Fabrice Bouillon LaForest
Costume Designer: Petra Leidner
Lighting Designer: Zeynep Kepekli
Dramaturg: Sophiatou Kossoko

The Rite of Spring

Choreography: Pina Bausch
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Original Set and Costume Design: Rolf Borzik
Collaboration: Hans Pop
World Premiere: 3 December 1975, Opera House Wuppertal

Artistic Directors: Jo Ann Endicott, Jorge Puerta Armenta, Clémentine Deluy
Rehearsal Directors: Çağdaş Ermiş, Ditta Miranda Jasjfi, Barbara Kaufmann, Julie Shanahan, Kenji Takagi

Dancers: Rodolphe Allui, Anique Ayiboe, Gloria Ugwarelojo Biachi, Khadija Cisse, Sonia Zandile Constable, Rokhaya Coulibaly, Inas Dasylva, Astou Diop, Serge Arthur Dodo, Franne Christie Dossou, Estelle Foli, Aoufice Junior Gouri, Luciény Kaabral, Zadi Landry Kipre, Bazoumana Kouyaté, Profit Lucky, Babacar Mané, Vasco Pedro Mirine, Stéphanie Mwamba, Florent Nikiéma, Shelly Ohene-Nyako, Brian Otieno Oloo, Harivola Rakotondrasoa, Oliva Randrianasolo (Nanie), Asanda Ruda, Tom Jules Samie, Amy Collé Seck, Pacôme Landry Seka, Gueassa Eva Sibi, Carmelita Siwa, Amadou Lamine Sow, Didja Kady Tiemanta, Aziz Zoundi

With thanks to: Sahadatou Ami Touré, Korotimi Barro, D’Aquin Evrard Élisée Bekoin, Vuyo Mahashe, Armel Gnago Sosso-Ny

Programme notes »

In co-operation with:

Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation


Dance, Performing arts



Accessibility information »

Event Information

  • Time:

    • Thu 24.8.2023 17:00

    • Fri 25.8.2023 19:00

    • Sat 26.8.2023 19:00

    • Sun 27.8.2023 14:00

    • Duration: 105 min, interval

  • Address:

    Dance House Helsinki, Erkko Hall
    Kaapeliaukio 3
    00180 Helsinki

  • Tickets:

    57–69 / 40–54 €


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