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NYCB Vol. 3 No. 11 - Afternoon of a Faun

(1/4) The beauty of these photos gives me chills. Jerome Robbins working with two casts of dancers on Afternoon of a Faun in 1964. Edward Villella and Patty McBride in foreground, Arthur Mitchell and Mimi Paul in background. Allegra in the 2nd photo.

It’s hard to believe that this beloved classic was reviewed after its premiere in 1953 like this: “Certainly the choreography does no violence to Debussy’s music. If that is enough to constitute a good ballet then this is perhaps a good ballet. Whether it is to everybody’s taste is an altogether different matter.”—John Martin, 1953. Well, John, it IS everybody’s taste because nearly 70 years later this ballet is still enrapturing audiences.

(left) Edward Villella, Jerome Robbins and Patricia McBride, 1964

(right) Jerome Robbins rehearses Allegra Kent, 1958

Photos by Martha Swope

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