Alicia Alonso & Erik Bruhn

Recorded at Jacob's Pillow: 
July, 1955

Each boasting an immense reputation and an enthusiastic base of fans, the Havana-born Alicia Alonso (1920- ) and Danish danseur noble Erik Bruhn (1928-1986) surprisingly gave only a handful of performances together. Speaking of their partnership, Bruhn said, "Our performances were so memorable for me that it seemed as though we had danced a great deal together." While Alonso had made a specialty of the title role in Giselle for well over a decade by the time of this engagement, Bruhn danced his first Albrecht only two months before the performance seen here. That debut had caused a sensation, prompting John Martin to proclaim in The New York Times that this was "a date to write down in the history books." Ted Shawn witnessed that auspicious occasion, and engaged Bruhn to perform with Alonso at the Pillow as part of an extraordinary program which included the U.S. debut of The Royal Danish Ballet during part of the week and the first Pillow performances by Merce Cunningham during the remainder.

Dance Title: Pas de deux from Giselle, Act II
Choreography: Jean Coralli & Jules Perrot (1841)
Music: Adolphe Adam (music added to video in 2012)