Rite (Flamenco Remix) (2015)
available from the composer
duration ca. 11:00
for fixed media and flamenco dancers
I originally conceived of my Rite as a work for synthesizers, percussion, and dance, presenting a religious ritual in which the symbolic transformation through sacrifice becomes unexpectedly real and complete—the ritual is no longer abstract, but changes the celebrants completely in unknowable and dramatic ways. The original was premiered in 1992. It has been performed several times since, most notably at the the International Society for Contemporary Music’s World Music Days 2002, where composer Michael Nyman wrote “Christopher Coleman’s Rite evokes the primordial aggression of a pagan ritual provoking and stirring our base emotions with its aural invocation of re-birth through sacrifice.” Having been drawn into the flamenco world through my daughter and wife’s devotion to it, I re-conceived the piece with flamenco’s percussive footwork and palmas (rhythmic clapping) replacing the percussion. I gave the piece to choreographer and lead dancer Clara Ramona with very little instruction and am delighted and amazed at how closely her conception of the piece matches mine.