While these selections all focus on trios, each is part of a larger work—or in two unusual cases, smaller ones. Regardless of the gender balance, the range of situations sampled here is surprisingly wide.
When Breath Becomes Air, 2019
Part of a work for 11 dancers made especially for Charlotte Ballet, this trio by Bryan Arias continually shifts focus among the performers.
The Happiness Project, 2019
While this trio shares the stage with a fourth dancer and the composer/musician, they are most often seen as a unit unto themselves.
Compagnie CNDC-Angers/Robert Swinston
How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run, 2019
In this 1965 classic by Merce Cunningham, the dancers coexist with an onstage pair of speakers who recite short stories by John Cage.
Though billed as a male-female duet, the initial harmony is complicated by the unexpected arrival of a second man towards the end of this excerpt.
Trey McIntyre Project
Leatherwing Bat, 2008
Complex interpersonal relationships are inferred in this trio set to the music of Peter, Paul and Mary, premiered at the Pillow with Peter Yarrow in attendance.
The Washington Ballet
Seven Sonatas, 2017
Alexei Ratmansky originally created this work for six dancers of American Ballet Theatre, and it was one of the first works brought into the repertory of Washington Ballet after Julie Kent took over the company’s directorship.
Dormeshia, Jason Samuels Smith, & Derick K. Grant
And Still You Must Swing, 2016
Although Camille A. Brown was an integral part of this cast, she’s visibly sitting out this particular section, allowing the three principal choreographers to take center stage.
Daniel Ulbricht / Ballet 2014
Fancy Free, 2014
These three sailors on shore leave in New York City were the starting point for Jerome Robbins to create both Fancy Free and Broadway’s On the Town.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
Stamping Ground, 2011
Though Jiří Kylián’s dance is nearly 40 years old, it richly deserves the audience gasps that can be clearly heard at the beginning of this astonishing excerpt.
Barak Marshall's MONGER
Watch how these two dancers “create” a third person out of thin air, and then make her disappear just as quickly.
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble
It’s fascinating to see how the opening trio gives way to a quartet and then a duet, before the original threesome returns and then reconfigures once again in this early work by Donald McKayle.
Directing from Offstage
Dorrance Dance, Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart, Jessica Lang Dance, Henri Oguike Dance Company + 8 others
Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians
The unusual structure of this work begins with the seven dancers seen at the rear of the stage, who then serve as backup dancers for the three soloists before all ten end the performance as equals.