The Way You Move

Duets In Ballet Are Rarely Performed By Two Women, So Don't Miss This Amazing One Also Choreographed By A Woman

"As a dancer, you see a lot of male duets, but you don't see female duets very often."

While many people may associate ballet with women, the industry is largely dominated by men. Take one look at the people who hold executive, administrative, and creative positions at major ballet companies in the United States, and you'll notice that most of them are men. 

"Classical ballet is all about women and the female form, but is controlled by men," filmmaker and dance enthusiast Andrew Margetson told CNN. In his short film Duet, Margetson wanted to show something he himself had never seen in ballet. In it, two female ballet dancers perform a duet, or pas de deux, crafted by a female choreographer. 

Female pas de deux are relatively rare as is, but having a female choreographer put together the duet is even rarer. For the film, Margetson enlisted the help of Kristen McNally, the principal character artist at London's Royal Ballet, to choreograph the classical dance. London's Royal Ballet's 23-year-old Beatriz Stix-Brunell and 24-year-old Yasmine Naghdi were selected to perform the choreography. 


"It's a ballerina world. Ballet is woman, in a way, but I do think it is still primarily run by men," Stix-Brunell said in the film. "As a dancer, you see a lot of male duets, but you don't see female duets very often."

Naghdi echoed the sentiment. "I think a lot of people see ballet as being quite traditional. The male figure dancing with the female figure. But I'm excited to do this pas de deux with another girl because it's different," she said. "We can't lift each other above each other's heads, but maybe we can partner each other a little bit more." 

The short film was shot after two short rehearsals at the Royal Opera House and the music was written by Los Angeles-based Scottish composer Lorne Balfe. The dance is short and beautiful in its simplicity. It showcases the women as both tender and strong, and reminds us that we need to push for opportunities for female choreographers in classical dance. 

You can watch the short film in the video below:

The Way You Move celebrates dancing and choreography videos that showcase fancy footwork in genres as diverse as ballet, hip-hop, tap, ballroom, and more. Learn a new routine the first Thursday of each month, and throughout the calendar when you get the urge to move.

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