A Pas De Deux, meaning “Step of Two” in French, is a traditional duet dance found in classical ballet. It’s typically danced by a male and female principal dancer, but some companies have been known to use same-sex lead dancers. Pas De Deux is most often performed as a showpiece to demonstrate the technical prowess of the leading dancers and provide entertainment for the audience.
The choreography of a Pas De Deux typically consists of two sections. The first section, Adagio, requires the couple to perform slow and intricate movements that require grace and strength. This section often begins with one dancer lifting the other in various lifts, followed by partnered turns and gestures that emphasize their connection as a couple.
The second section is known as Variations or Coda. In this section, each soloist performs a sequence of technical steps, such as multiple pirouettes or jumps in rapid succession. The soloists then come back together at the end and finish with a pose or curtsy in unison.
The choreography of Pas de Deux must be intricate enough to demonstrate both soloists’ technical skills yet simple enough for them to remain connected throughout the entire piece. This difficult balance between complexity and harmony is what makes it such an art form – requiring immense skill from both performers.
Pas de Deux has been one of the most iconic elements of classical ballet since its creation centuries ago. Many famous ballets feature Pas de Deux including Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, and more recently choreographed pieces like John Neumeier’s Lady of the Camellias.
A beautiful example of Pas de Deux can be seen in Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces from his 1983 ballet Glass Pieces.. It features lighthearted music from composer Phillip Glass alongside an intense duet between two dancers who move together in perfect harmony throughout the piece.
What Is a Pas de Deux in Ballet? A Pas de Deux is a traditional duet dance found in classical ballet that requires immense skill from both performers to balance complexity with harmony while demonstrating their technical abilities through partnered lifts and solo sequences of rapid steps. Famous ballets featuring this iconic element include Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote and more recently choreographed pieces like John Neumeier’s Lady of the Camellias and Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces.
Pas de Deux is an important part of classical ballet that has been around for centuries – providing entertainment for audiences while showcasing the technical prowess of its lead dancers.