Exploring his fascination with the music of Chopin, Robbins created three vastly contrasting sets of lovers, from innocent to impetuous, who meet beneath a midnight sky.
After the enormous popularity of Dances at a Gathering in 1969, Jerome Robbins built on his love affair with Chopin’s piano works with In the Night. While the earlier ballet primarily uses mazurkas, waltzes, and études, In the Night, which premiered in 1970, conjures up a post-dusk scenario to four of the composer’s nocturnes. Choreographed for three couples of distinct personality, the ballet uses the music as a jumping-off point to explore subtle dance dramas. The Nocturne Op. 27, No. 1 takes on a stately quality before melting into lyricism. Nocturnes Op. 55, No. 1 and No. 2 are, respectively, bittersweet, and tempestuous in their melodies. The final piece, Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 uses the rondo form, but in a tender, almost ethereal andante.