These videos illustrate many different types of partnerships, emphasizing the importance of pas de deux in dances throughout time.
Alonzo King's LINES Ballet
An exquisite pas de deux brings Alonzo King’s work to Dance Interactive for the first time, though his company has been a frequent Pillow attraction since their initial engagement in 2000. This excerpt from Migration reveals the superhuman qualities of King’s dancers and demonstrates why he was singled out for the 2008 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award.
Tere O'Connor Dance
Cover Boy, 2013
Nora Kaye & Hugh Laing
The Gods Go a-Begging, 1951
For anyone who thinks they know all of Balanchine’s ballets, here’s something to upset that notion. It’s one of only two films known to exist of a 1928 work created for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, newly reunited with its lovely Handel music. This is also the only Pillow footage of the great Nora Kaye, though she appeared here two other times beginning in 1941.
Nikolais and Murray Louis Dance
Mechanical Organ, 1996
You may notice an unmistakable resemblance to Pilobolus in this duet, but Alwin Nikolais came first by a longshot. His groundbreaking vision of dance came to prominence in the 1950s, even though his company didn’t reach the Pillow until the 1970s. This clip is from a 1996 retrospective program presented by Nikolais and Murray Louis Dance.
Trey McIntyre Project
Wild Sweet Love, 2010
This exuberant duet clearly demonstrates the appeal of McIntyre’s work and his exceptional dancers. And it reminds us of another kind of partnership – between the Pillow and this dynamic company, which presented its final performances at the Pillow in Festival 2014 before permanently disbanding.
Tanaquil LeClercq & Nicholas Magallanes
La Valse, 1951
Brought to prominence once again because of a 2014 documentary film entitled Afternoon of a Faun (about the tragic case of polio that ended her performing career). LeClercq still dazzles in this 1951 excerpt from La Valse. The role was created for her by George Balanchine, whom she would marry the following year.
First Fall from Restless Creature, 2013
Wendy Whelan demonstrated her rapport with four different partners in the remarkable Pillow-commissioned Restless Creature project, pairing her with the choreographers themselves.
Stockholm / 59° North
Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, 1997
When this company made its world debut at the Pillow in 1997, they brought with them a work that was destined to become a contemporary classic, Ulysses Dove’s Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven. Here’s a key moment to savor in this transcendant dance, later performed at the Pillow by Pacific Northwest Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem.
Romeo and Juliet, 2011
French choreographer Joëlle Bouvier’s take on Romeo and Juliet is more abstract than most people expect in a “story ballet”. But the lush Prokofiev score and the gorgeous dancing were powerful enough to make some audience members say that this was the most moving version of the classic tale that they had ever seen.
Tangueros Del Sur
En el Abrazo, 2011
For anyone who saw Forever Tango on Broadway, dancer-choreographer Natalia Hills needs no further introduction. So the company she brought from her native Argentina was highly-anticipated, and the live music helped the dancers truly sizzle. While the full evening traced the entire history of the tango form, this particular section focused on the glory days of the 1940s and 50s.
LDP / Laboratory Dance Project
Modern Feeling, 2011
This enigmatic male duet evokes friendship, bonding, and competitiveness, and it was the popular centerpiece of an all-male program presented by Korea’s pioneering modern company. How appropriate to see these dancers at the Pillow, where Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers blazed similar trails in the 1930s!
ASzURe & Artists
Lascilo Perdere (A journey of letting go), 2005
Yes, you’re seeing correctly – she really is holding his tongue between her teeth for the entirety of this one-minute duet. They get down on the floor, roll around, and he lifts her overhead, all without ever losing mouth-to-mouth contact. Seeing is believing, so have a look for yourself!
Barak Marshall's MONGER
There really are only two men onstage in this clip, but who’s that mysterious lady sitting between them? This ingenious dance was devised by Israeli-American choreographer Barak Marshall, whose PillowTalk can also be sampled here. In the talk, Marshall tells a moving story about the power of dance to bridge different cultures, and his mother, legendary Israeli performer Margalit Oved, may be heard ululating from the audience.
Pierre Dulaine & Yvonne Marceau
Blue Danube, 1982
The Washington Post described this clip as “a minute and 22 seconds of perfection, writ in whipped cream” and we can’t possibly sum it up more artfully. You can read the entire Post article here, and learn more about why our online resources were called “the closest thing the dance world has to an online museum.” Or just play the video to see Pierre Dulaine and Yvonne Marceau express the indescribable in dance!
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