Afternoon of a Faun
Ballet in one act with choreography by Robbins, music by Debussy, set and lighting by Rosenthal, and costumes by Sharaff. Premiered 14 May 1953 by New York City Ballet at City Center, New York, with LeClercq and Moncion. It is set to the Debussy score Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune to which Nijinsky created his famous 1912 work. Robbins's version portrays two dancers practising in a ballet studio in front of an imaginary mirror (the audience). The couple appear to be narcissistically absorbed in their own reflections, although in the kiss which concludes the ballet, there is a suggestion of the girl's sexual awakening. It has been revived by many companies including the Royal Ballet (1971), Australian Ballet (1978), Norwegian National Ballet (1991), the Bolshoi Ballet (2000), and San Francisco Ballet (2006).