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Vail Dance Festival Vol. 1 No. 5 - In the Night

A series on Robbins’ “In the Night” with all the poetic descriptions authors and critics used to describe each of the 3 couples.


First is a youthful pair lost in headlong rapture—at one point the boy turns the girl topsy-turvy, as if she were literally head over heels in love. —Amanda Vaill

The first duet (made for Kay Mazzo and Anthony Blum) is often airy, yet full of longing as if these two are discovering a love so wonderful that they can't believe it will last.”—Deborah Jowitt

Kay Mazzo, diffident and chic, is wooed by an almost aggressively exultant Anthony Blum.—Clive Barnes

The first section is a mood piece. It has birdlike gestures; it floats —Francisco Moncion

Kay Mazzo and Anthony Blum. Photo by Martha Swope, 1970.


(2/3) “They are succeeded by a more sophisticated duo, whose half-ironic politeness--an exquisite balancing act between confidence and taking each other for granted--is jolted when the girl breaks away and only tenuously reestablishes when the boy sweeps her up onto his shoulder to exit backwards, with neither of them looking where they are going.” —Amanda Vaill

"The second man and woman (Violette Verdy and Peter Martins) are more settled […] Verdy said she thought of the duet as a happy marriage.”—Deborah Jowitt

“Violette Verdy, nearly disappearing into the vortex of a series of deliquescent little turns, with a smile wreathing her eyes, coquettishly dares a nervously eager Peter Martins.” —Clive Barnes

"The second section is a very elegant polonaise"—Francisco Moncion

Peter Martins and Violette Verdy. Photo by Martha Swope, 1970.


(3/3) Finally, a third couple sweep on, passionate, tempestuous, he pursuing her. At the ballet's end, to the gently rocking notes of the last nocturne, all three couples emerge as if from separate trances, encounter and acknowledge one another, then part and go their different ways."—Amanda Vail

"The third duet [was] for Patricia McBride and Francisco Moncion. This couple is on the verge of a breakup. Their dancing is full of passion and artifice; they're being melodramatic for each other." —Deborah Jowitt

Francisco Moncion, mysterious even in his passion, whirls over his head—with more nonchalance than is good for her at least—an airborne Patricia McBride caught in one of her first loves.—Clive Barnes

"Of our part, Jerry definitely said we were having an argument: 'It's one of those on-again, off-again affairs; they might get together, they come, they go.' "—Francisco Moncion

Francisco Moncion and Patricia McBride. Photo by Martha Swope, 1970.

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