The NYTimes on the new, 2016 Pirelli Calendar
In ballet, a pas de deux (French, literally “step of two”) is a dance duet in which two dancers, typically a male and a female, perform ballet steps together. The pas de deux is characteristic of classical ballet and can be found in many well-known ballets, including Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Giselle.
Pas de deux – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dancers Rachel Malehorn and Annia Hidalgo
Watching various classical ballets. Thinking about the heroines, who are often longing for love in impossible situations with Princes, and who usually die.
Juliet. Giselle. Odette.
While making a new work for female ballet dancers, one of them described her role as a solo artist in classical ballet. She told me a story about a rehearsal director that asked her to sit in the audience one night to watch the other soloist perform the role that they shared. She resisted and thought it would rattle her nerves too much to watch. But when she did, she explained that she realized it was the Corps behind her that gave her strength as a soloist. She saw and experienced the massive set, lights, and the large group of women standing on stage behind her. She then understood that she was part of a community, and that it wasn’t her sole responsibility to achieve perfection on stage.
Despite the proverbial, inherently sexist storyline of the female character destroyed by love, the performance of classical ballet often includes sections of dancing for large groups of women. These moments construct an invisible, meta-connection between the bodies of those women. The relationship of their collective dancing embodies a reverberating energy that moves with and holds the soloist up.
My cousin Margot was about five years old when we attended a family wedding at a farm outside of Madison, WI. She lives in an urban area, and got very excited when she saw a sheep.
She announced, “Mom, when we get home, I want a real, NOT PRETEND, live sheep.”
Is it possible that being an artist feels like this to other people too? Does it feel like you are walking around with a stuffed animal and that suddenly one day, maybe your sheep will be real? Your art work will be real?
I asked Emily Wexler this question.
the thing about art and the thing that the practice of making and performing it is, that we keep trying to make the sheep real. sometimes it is. seriously. sometimes the sheep is real and everyone sees it.