Afternoon of a Faun

Music: Claude Debussy (Prelude a l’Après-midi d’un Faune, 1892-94)
Choreography: Jerome Robbins
Staging: Bart Cook
Scenic and Lighting Design: Jean Rosenthal
Costume Design: Irene Sharaff
Duration: 10 minutes
Premiere: May 14, 1953; New York City Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: May 11, 1978 (New York City Ballet staging); November 4, 2011 (restaging)

The 2011 addition of Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun to the PNB repertory was made possible by H. David Kaplan.

Kylee Kitchens and Jerome Tisserand in
Afternoon of a Faun. Photo © Angela Sterling

Debussy's music, Prelude a l'Après-midi d'un Faune, was composed between 1892 and 1894. It was inspired by a poem of Mallarme’s which was begun in 1876. The poem describes the reveries of a faun around a real or imagined encounter with nymphs. In 1912, Vaslav Nijinsky presented his famous ballet, drawing his ideas from many sources, including Greek sculpture and painting. This pas de deux, choreographed by Jerome Robbins, is a variation on these themes. It was first performed in 1953 by New York City Ballet and is dedicated to Tanaquil Le Clercq, for whom the ballet was choreographed.

Notes courtesy of the Robbins Rights Trust.

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