Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Afternoon of a Faun
L'Après-midi d'un Faune (or The Afternoon of a Faun) (1912), is a modern ballet choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky for the Ballets Russes, with Nijinsky himself dancing the Faun. The staging is reminiscent of an ancient Greek vase painting, with the dancers often moving across the stage in profile as if a two dimensional bas relief. The score is by Claude Debussy and the original scenography by Léon Bakst. The score and the ballet are both inspired by the famous poem of the same name by Mallarmé.
The ballet was presented in bare feet and rejected classical formalism. The work was considered to have an overtly sexual nature and contained a scene of simulated masturbation. L'Apres-midi d'un Faune is considered as one of the first modern ballets and proved to be as controversial as Nijinsky's Jeux (1913) and Le Sacre du Printemps (1913).
Due to its hostle reception the ballet was only in repertoire for a few years before being forgotten and assummed lost. In the late 1980s dance notation specialist Ann Hutchinson Guest reconstucted the ballet from Nijinsky's own notebooks and dance notation. This reconstucted version is often presented with Nijinsky's other works or repertoire from the Ballets Russes.
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