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Which one is your favourite pas de deux?


87Sigfried87

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The ppd in Wheeldon's "After the Rain", particularly when it was danced with Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto. I cried everytime I saw it. Now that Jock has retired, I cannot envision anyone else doing it. I have seen it with others and it wasn't quite the same.

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Printcess, After the Rain is a ballet many of us will not have had the opportunity to experience. What is it about this particular pdd that moves you so much? And this particular cast?

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Printcess, After the Rain is a ballet many of us will not have had the opportunity to experience. What is it about this particular pdd that moves you so much? And this particular cast?

Hi Bart,

A lot of beautiful things come together during this ballet. The music, "Speigel im Speigel" by Arvo Part (umlaut over the a) is astonishing. It is very melancholy, beautiful and haunting. The lighting is soft and delicate. The costumes are almost skin color (the ppd couple) so you have a sense that you are seeing the dancer naked and raw and full of emotion. I have interpreted the ballet as couples coming together and breaking up, thus added to the sadness.

I have seen this ballet three times. Twice with Wendy and Jock. The final time was Jock's farewell performance, so perhaps I cried more. I couldn't breathe. The third time Wendy danced with Nikolaj Hubbe.

"After the Rain" can be considered a leotard ballet, without the hard angles. Wendy's body is very angular. When she danced with Jock, she softened.

There are a few other ballets that are ingrained in me with certain dancers: Peter Boal in Square Dance, Edward Villella in Tarantella, the original cost of Dancers at a Gathering, just to name a few. ABT's Swan Lake and Le Corsaire with Angel Corella comes to mind.

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ooooo

White Swan Pdd. It's so etheral and...wonderful. Also, because it's so rare to have it done exactly as I imagine, I savor each one.

All Giselle Act II Pdds are good, but Fracci just made me fall in love with it. The way she...floats, I was in tears

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ooooo

White Swan Pdd. It's so etheral and...wonderful. Also, because it's so rare to have it done exactly as I imagine, I savor each one.

All Giselle Act II Pdds are good, but Fracci just made me fall in love with it. The way she...floats, I was in tears

Those are favorites of mine, too.

"Diamonds," "Diamonds," "Diamonds".........

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(Sad but true, my memory of lots of Balanchine pdd's is limited--mostly because so little chance to see them--except old videos or DiA b'casts--so what follows is mostly from other touring companys.)

Yes, of course White Swan and all aforementioned above Act2 Giselle. But, as I see more and more dancers (if not always partners) do them, I am becoming much more critical of HOW they are performed. (Case in point: Giselle. That double overhead lift can look very different depending on timing, placement, and chemistry of partners. As do the pique arabesque lifts in the 2nd pdd depending on the phrasing.) White Swan of course is all about phrasing and chemistry. And as a former dancer who rehearsed both White Swan and Giselle, but never got to perform them onstage, each step is still ingrained in this adagio dancer's muscle memory.

The thrill of Tchaikovsky pdd for me was when I immediately recognized the music as coming from SL. I do love that 'fish' with interlaced arms, the male variation, and the give-and-take between female & male parts in the coda.

Corsair only with certain dancers. Bayadere Act1's almost step-for-step re-do of other Petipa, and Shade scene for the epaulement/cambres

MacMillan's R&J balcony & bedroom pdds--but sometimes prefer bedroom pdd because less time and number of steps (not to mention running back & forth across stage) forces the dancers to concentrate more into a smaller space.

And though not a pdd exactly, I love these two in Manon: Party scene where she is being held aloft by the men (with poor Des Grieux following/pining below), and the seduction scene with Monsieur GM and her brother.

Neo-classical:

(Balanchine) Apollo & Terpsichore

(Forsyth) In the Middle... (love the speed, attack, and totally off-center moves)

(Taylor-Corbett) Great Galloping Gottschalk (Dying Poet) for sweet lyricism

Ditto Leaves are Fading for same, and phrasing.

Most Wheeldon--for geometric constructions which makes me wonder if/how he sees bodies in space before/during/while choreographing? After the Rain is interesting (I've seen it 3x with Wendy, but Jock had already retired)--but A LOT of the effect is due to the choice of music; somehow I NEVER get any lumps in my throat while watching it.

Conversation Piece by (Vancouver? Ballet)

Clear, because of the exquisite line & closure it brings to the whole piece

Symphony in C--only seen twice (sad but true again) so have to review exactly what

Theme & Variations

But my all time favorite (excepting White Swan/Giselle) was one my old company did to the Nimrod variation of Elgar's Enigma Variations. (The storyline was the basic romantic triangle & complications). It started so exquisitely slowly with a develope a la second downstage L into an arabesque penche, (like Giselle?), and then just built from there. You forgot to breathe during it. (Also liked the later pdd, when the erring husband seeks--and finds--forgiveness from his gentle stoic wife. Don't remember exact Enigma variation.)

Oh yeah, for pure kitsch: Arabian Dance from Nutcracker. (Musically though, my favorite is the Sugarplum/Cavalier pdd)

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A couple of seasons ago, SFB performed Wheeldon's Quaternary. The third section, Summer, was a breathtaking pdd for Muriel Maffre (now retired, unfortunately) and Yuri Possokhov. I've only seen it the one time, but it left such an impression that it has just about supplanted all the old favorites.

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My all time favorite PDD , he,he.. :bow: the old "Black Swan PDD,(Mme.Alonso :wink: after Gorsky) for its choreography and plotline.

Mine, too, and also because Tchaikovsky's music for it is one of the lushest numbers he ever wrote. I didn't get to see Mme. Alonso do it, but I did see her do a number of things in 1979 with Ballet Nacional. I dislike that this is missing from Nureyev's version from way back even more than all that bordello-like rouge. Also 3rd Act Grand Pas, Sleeping Beauty, and "Diamonds" with Farrell which you can still see on the tape.

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All wonderful examples, and I'd especially reinforce White Swan and Symphony in C, and Agon pdd.... Agon is SO much about trust....

but I'd add some comic pdd -- Titania and the donkey is so incredibly sweet, and Tarantella -- if it's danced as a flirtation (as Mc Bride and Villella danced it), and not just a set of tricks -- is a fabulous thing.

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Many of my favorites have been mentioned except for one, the two pas de deux from Balanchine's Chaconne. They are so different from each other! Dance Of The Blessed Spirits is dreamy and gentle, the second pas de deux is formal and decorative. It has has a sly, slightly cheeky wit to it, followed by the super fast variations for the man and woman which build to an extremely exciting finish.

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