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Afternoon of a Faun

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Nijinsky as the Faun

The Afternoon of a Faun is a neoclassical ballet choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky to an orchestral work of the same name by Claude Debussy. The ballet was first performed by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet on 29 May 1912. Nijinsky danced the Faun.

The story concerns a mythological faun and several nymphs who pass his hillock as he sleeps. He wakens and chases the nymphs. They flee in fear. The ballet was poorly received by critics, perhaps because the faun masturbates to climax on a nymph's scarf at ballet's end. Faun has been re-choreographed and re-staged many times.


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