Encompassing a range of styles, moods, and eras, these duets remind us of the limitless ways a man and woman can relate to one another onstage.
Stars of American Ballet
This Jerome Robbins classic had only been performed at the Pillow once before, nearly 60 years earlier than the performance seen here.
Although this world premiere by Stanton Welch is a group work, it includes the striking duet excerpted here.
Janis Claxton Dance
POP-UP Duets (fragments of love), 2018
This series of duets by Scottish choreographer Janis Claxton was performed at the Pillow only once, as part of the season opening Gala in 2018.
Collage Dance Collective
The originally-scheduled performance by Collage Dance Collective was rained out, but happily the company returned the following morning to share the repertory that they had traveled all the way from Tennessee to perform at the Pillow.
James Whiteside Presents
On the Water, 2017
Although it’s a long way from the stages of Lincoln Center to the open-air performance space known as Inside/Out, these two ABT dancers look right at home in the al fresco environment.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
Silent Ghost, 2016
Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo got his start with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and this closing duet in a work created especially for Aspen Santa Fe Ballet demonstrates his expertise in creating movement.
Company Wang Ramirez
Utilizing a new choreographic language they describe as “urban Tanztheater,” the French-Hispanic-Korean duo Honji Wang and Sébastian Ramirez are a couple both on and offstage.
Ephrat Asherie Dance
Step 4.2, 2014
With nicknames like “Bounce” and “Cricket,” these are dancers you might expect to move in unconventional ways – and indeed, they skitter around the stage with remarkable dexterity. This excerpt from the multi-faceted Unreal Hip-Hop program shows how hip-hop can be used as a language to tell the same kinds of stories that are explored through other dance techniques.
Dance Theatre of Harlem
Contested Space, 2014
Both DTH and choreographer Donald Byrd have such long and distinguished careers, it’s surprising that they didn’t collaborate until this 2012 commission. Listen for a familiar theme in the music, a strain from Song of India which originated in the 19th century, paralleling the way Byrd has incorporated traditional ballet technique into his decidedly contemporary movement.
First Fall from Restless Creature, 2013
Conceived to showcase the artistry of Wendy Whelan, Restless Creature featured four duets created by different choreographers—each of whom performed their work with Whelan.
Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal
Locked Up Laura, 2010
This 2009 duet by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa makes ample use of the virtuoso dancers (one of whom, Céline Cassone, also appeared at the Pillow in 2015 with Daniil Simkin).
Jacoby & Pronk
Rhapsody Fantaisie, 2010
The impossibly-long limbs of both these dancers show off the choreography of Christopher Wheeldon with special eloquence, set to Rachmaninoff.
Lyon Opera Ballet
Un Ballo, 2002
Jiří Kylián’s Un Ballo is a perfect illustration of this company’s surprisingly contemporary repertory, encompassing many of the mast choreographers working today. This clip also shows Kylián’s masterful eye for the stage, manipulating a simple costume to create some astonishing effects. And the partnering is subtly virtuosic, requiring great strength and control from each dancer.
Nederlands Dance Theater III
Creating a company of older dancers was Jiří Kylián’s idea, and this duet by Hans van Manen was one of the first works to launch the venture.
Etude aux Objets, 1977
Italian choreographer Vittorio Biagi got his start as a dancer with Maurice Béjart, whose influece can be seen in this acrobatic pas de deux entitled Etude aux Objets.
Emily Frankel & Mark Ryder
At the Still Point, 1955
This clip offers a rare opportunity to see a contemporary classic, Todd Bolender’s The Still Point, in a formative stage, with some exquisitely tender partnering.
Fancy Free, 1949
A program note from Jerome Robbins dedicates all Fancy Free performances to the memory of John Kriza, and here Kriza himself is seen in his original role. This 1949 excerpt joins two other related Pillow films online, an excerpt from a 2014 performance by Daniel Ulbricht and a short feature highlighting all the Pillow connections in this 20th century classic.