In Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain Pas de Deux, a couple performs a haunting pas de deux set to Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel. The work first premiered in 2005 at New York City Ballet’s annual New Combinations Evening, which honors the anniversary of George Balanchine’s birth with world premieres. The dreamlike male-female duet has been widely praised for its sublime simplicity and intricate partnering, and it is revealed in a fresh light as the Ailey dancers make it their own.
Christopher Wheeldon has said of the work that he didn’t realize while he was creating it that it would have such a profound impact on audiences. Wheeldon is often more attracted to creating abstract rather than narrative work, as he likes the possibility of individual interpretation. Some see After the Rain Pas de Deux as being about love and longing, while others see it as a depiction of death or loss.
“The body language suggests intimacy and, on the woman’s part, aspects of abandon and ecstasy.”
–The New York Times
“Rare is the ballet that resonates so profoundly with audiences that it becomes an instant hit.”
This production was made possible with leadership support from the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation.
Generous support was provided by The Jaharis Family Foundation, and Judith McDonough Kaminski & Joseph Kaminski.
Akua Noni Parker and Jamar Roberts in After the Rain Pas de Deux, photo by Paul Kolnik
Akua Noni Parker and Jamar Roberts in After The Rain Pas de Deux, photo by Paul Kolnik