Spring Works - An exploration of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring


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After discovering the work of Roman Baca and sponsoring his application for a Fulbright Fellowship, The Maltings is delighted to bring this choreographer, dancer and combat veteran to the UK after 3 years of development in our latest international collaboration.

With exceptional dance, a fascinating documentary screening, exquisite live music and a deeply moving history behind the project - there really is something for everyone at this event. 

"If you have any interest in dance or if you maybe have no interest at all in ballet or art or music, but you want to see that there’s a way in which people who’ve been enemies, who have fought, can through art come together and find a new way of working – I think you’ll want to see it.”
- Matthew Rooke, Artistic Director

This is ground-breaking, challenging work, exciting work taking place live in Berwick. Don’t miss your chance to share in what’s likely to be a transformative experience for everyone involved.

"Roman Baca is an exceptionally talented individual doing truly extraordinary work." - Prof Anthony Bowne, Principal of Trinity Laban.

WATCH a preview of Spring Works HERE and see Roman discuss his history, this project and how he came to work with The Maltings HERE.

After 3 years gestation, our latest international collaboration explores ritual and youth sacrifice in the context of both the 1918 Armistice and the present day through a response to Stravinsky’s astonishing two piano version of The Rite of Spring. 

Roman is a classically trained ballet dancer, who decided to leave dancing and join the US Marines, fuelled by a desire to help people and fight for those that couldn't fight for themselves. Roman ended up in situations that most of us couldn't even conceive, working as a machine gunner in Fallujah, Iraq and as is the case for all soldiers, he returned from war a changed man and by returning to dance, was able to rediscover his purpose and find his way back to himself.

"I started choreographing and then I started choreographing things about the war that I was aching to investigate, that I was aching to talk about. This process led me to do workshops with veterans and in 2012, with children in Iraq that had been affected by the war. For many years I was doing this creative effort to expose the affects of war through the art of dance."
- Roman Baca

Over the past 3 years of project development, Matthew also discovered a former senior ranking Iraqi Officer called Nafee Mohammed, who’s story is so fascinatingly like Romans’, it almost mirrors it.

Nafee was a singer and poet living in Iraq, who was drafted into the army by Saddam Hussein and ended up fighting in the Iraq/Iran war until 2003, when he decided he couldn’t anymore. He fled the country with his family, offered his services to the UK and the US, but ultimately reverted to his first love, singing. He, like Roman, used his art to deal with the situations he had to face with many of his songs being about Fallujah.

After introducing the pair to each other, we’re absolutely delighted that they will be working together in Berwick this week to see what they can develop through their own personal and artistic history before sharing it with us at the end of the week in an informal work-in-progress performance.

The evening will consist of the following programme

A performance of Spring Works - the dance created by Roman Baca accompanied by live four hand piano playing by Harris Playfair and Heather Cattanach of Stravisnky's original score of The Rite of Spring.

A screening of Roman's Exit 12: Moved by War Documentary with an informal discussion.

Roman and Nafee will perform the work they're currently developing this week. A performance that will be deeply moving for all who witness it as these two performers, who once fought on opposite sides of the war, come together to create something beautiful out of the chaos that was their history.