The discussion of Russian popular culture and art in the early twentieth century is one heavily characterized by innovation, novelty, and experimentation. With the expansion of free speech seen in the advent of hundreds of newspapers and magazines, including the still famous Pravda, so too expanded the artistic venues by which painters, poets, composers, and actors plied their craft. In the closing years of the nineteenth century the Symbolists reigned supreme in Russian arts. Very much representative of traditional Russian culture, Symbolists followed a very hierarchal view of creative works, holding the artist as a “high priest,” affording him the right of interpretation and the ability to dictate the meaning and value of a work to the masses. Within a decade of the dawn of the 1900s, however, the revolutionary tendencies of popular politics took root in artistic movements, with new generations of poets and artists challenging tradition. The mysticism and almost religious veneration of old art was rejected in favor of concrete attention to the “real world.” New avant-garde artists Natalya Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov led the push to create a uniquely Russian medium for expression. Both created works evocative of the simple life, of country folk and the strong, old-fashioned tendencies they carry with them. This craving for a specific Russian culture, free of European influence, resulted in a resounding desire to flesh out and populate the movement with new works, a desire that saw Goncharova and Larionov illustrating poems written by their contemporaries, while poet Vladimir Mayakovsky set about setting peer paintings into poetic narratives. It is perhaps ironic that this desire to buck tradition led to such a saturation of work featuring folk life, popularly described as traditional. Igor Stravinsky’s 1913 ballet, Rite of Spring, was heavily influenced by Russian Primitivism, with the choreography filled with strong, decisive movements and powerful actions. Absent are the complex twirls, bounds, and poses that come to mind when one pictures ballet, replaced by almost tribal, ritualistic unified movements by crowds of strikingly costumed performers. Interestingly enough, Stravinsky is said to have denied the grounding of his compositions in traditional Russian folk music. Regardless of whether this claim holds truth, Stravinsky’s piece is evocative of traditional Russian peasant life, and ties in nicely with contemporary Russian neo-primitivistic works.