Sweet Bitter Love was a solo that Ms. de Lavallade choreographed for herself after being inspired by Roberta Flack's performance of her song. "I decided to add the lover into the duet that I was creating for the Ailey company so we would have both the male and female points of view," explained de Lavallade.
"I was also motivated by this good old English film 'Brief Encounter' about a lady and a doctor who have this amazing spiritual connection while riding on a train. They realize they have to break it up even though they would have been really happy together because they matched so intensely. That's what makes it so sad and heartbreaking. They found each other too late in their respective lives. That was the kind of feeling I wanted to give the dancers so that they would then be able to work their individual stories into the ballet. They have to each tell their own story."
"[I]n the middle of my choreographic process I decided to add two more songs, Donny Hathaway's 'For All We Know,' and another Roberta Flack song, 'Until It's Time For You To Go.' So it's Roberta's voice, Donny's voice and then Roberta's voice and the dance is dedicated to both of them."