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  • Watch: A female pas de deux from Royal Ballet dancers Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Yasmine Naghdi

Watch: A female pas de deux from Royal Ballet dancers Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Yasmine Naghdi

'Duet', choreographed by Kristen McNally, explores the strength and beauty of the female form in a short film.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

22 September 2017 at 10.18am | 47 Comments

It's relatively rare to see a female pas de deux in classical dance. But in a new film, Duet, created by Andrew Margetson, Royal Ballet First Soloist Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Principal Yasmine Naghdi dance together in a work choreographed by Principal Character Artist Kristen McNally.

Margetson created the film to provide something he had never seen himself: a female duet crafted by a female choreographer.

'I think a lot of people see ballet as being quite traditional: a male figure, dancing with a female figure', explains Naghdi, in a short voiceover before the dancing starts.

'I’m excited to do this pas de deux with another girl because it’s different'.

'Women have a beautiful tenderness about them, but they also have a strength as well', says Stix-Brunell. 'That’s going to be very exciting to play on'.

The film, soundtracked by music written by Scottish composer Lorne Balfe, was shot after two short rehearsals at the Royal Opera House.

Yasmine Naghdi will be performing in The Illustrated 'Farewell' from 6–17 November.

Beatriz Stix-Brunell will be performing in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland from 27 September–27 October 2017.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

22 September 2017 at 10.18am

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged Beatriz Stix-Brunell, duet, pas de deux, Yasmine Naghdi

This article has 47 comments

  1. beautiful, thanks for sharing

  2. Eleanor responded on 22 September 2017 at 1:56pm Reply

    This is so beautiful. There are so many dynamics unexplored just because it has been thought things had to be one way, the only way. I can't wait to see the new partnerships and routines that will continue to emerge in female partnered dancing.

  3. Cathy Ungar responded on 22 September 2017 at 5:43pm Reply

    Lovely! Thanks so much.

  4. DaveM responded on 22 September 2017 at 5:51pm Reply

    that was utterly lovely - thanks for cheering us up after a long week!

  5. Susan Rixon responded on 22 September 2017 at 5:57pm Reply

    So beautiful!

  6. Sarah Alvis responded on 22 September 2017 at 6:12pm Reply

    Stunning . Thank you

  7. Stunning

  8. Emily responded on 22 September 2017 at 7:01pm Reply

    It's really powerful, beautiful to watch.

  9. Bruce responded on 22 September 2017 at 7:37pm Reply

    Thanks
    Really good to see

  10. mireille marin responded on 22 September 2017 at 8:31pm Reply

    c'est une gestuelle tres poetique

  11. Geraldine Dora responded on 22 September 2017 at 8:31pm Reply

    Beautiful - loved this

  12. Sarah responded on 22 September 2017 at 8:50pm Reply

    Such grace & elegance, it's different and inspired

  13. Rachel Miller responded on 22 September 2017 at 10:32pm Reply

    Gorgeous. Beautiful music too.

  14. Phillipa Micalizzi responded on 23 September 2017 at 1:09am Reply

    Beautiful dancers, lovely pas de deux. Thank you.

  15. Perfect & refreshing, I loved it!

  16. Pennie responded on 23 September 2017 at 7:36am Reply

    So serene and beautiful. Very moving. Thank you.

  17. Bryan Moore responded on 23 September 2017 at 7:49am Reply

    A wonderful video full of charm beauty and grace which I loved to watch. However, as a man I am not sure I would want to watch a male duet although I can see it could have possibilities in terms or power and excitement.

    • Sara responded on 24 September 2017 at 5:24pm

      Find a video of Balanchine and Baryshnikov in The Prodigal Son... a stunning male duet.

  18. Pauline responded on 23 September 2017 at 8:06am Reply

    Amazing, lovely, balanced.

  19. Gilly responded on 23 September 2017 at 8:34am Reply

    Captivating!
    Thank you for sharing.

  20. Diana Hickman responded on 23 September 2017 at 11:06am Reply

    Delightful.

  21. Diana Hickman responded on 23 September 2017 at 11:09am Reply

    A feeling of absolute equality.

  22. Susan Carlton-Jones responded on 23 September 2017 at 11:54am Reply

    Very beautiful in its simplicity. Lovely dancers .

  23. Jilly responded on 23 September 2017 at 2:04pm Reply

    I really enjoyed that. Delightful choreography, sensitive choice of music and a moving performance.

  24. Samantha Chapman responded on 23 September 2017 at 3:14pm Reply

    That was fabulous, great movement and a pleasure to watch!! Thanks for sharing.

  25. Sheila Lally responded on 23 September 2017 at 5:28pm Reply

    How wonderful. I approached this with extreme scepticism but was completely engaged an convinced by this special pas de deux

  26. Valentine responded on 23 September 2017 at 7:43pm Reply

    a breath of something beyond

  27. Kimberly Poirier responded on 24 September 2017 at 4:22am Reply

    beautiful, lovely, and powerful! two incredible dancers doing some very interesting stuff together. i'd love to see more woman-woman PDDs, especially of the sweeping romantic kind. i'm certain two woman could pull off partnering lifts and such just as well as a woman and man.

  28. isabelle responded on 24 September 2017 at 8:58am Reply

    i can lift you! And there will be more women who can. Its just the little tiny women get chosen! Where are the strong tall female dancers? not in ballet.....malheureusement.

  29. Simply stunning... a poetic balance of movement and sound ... breathtakingly beautiful ... delible memories on a creative mind... thank you.

  30. Adrian cresswell responded on 24 September 2017 at 12:17pm Reply

    Spellbinding ... lovely distillate ...

  31. Carol Munsey responded on 24 September 2017 at 4:05pm Reply

    How lovely! Fantastic dancing and music.
    Does Balfe's music for this piece have a title?

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 25 September 2017 at 11:32am

      Hi Carol,

      The music was composed specifically for the film, but I've asked whether it has a title!

      I will report back.

      Glad you like the video.

      Mel

  32. I did not feel a partnership. They danced but they might as well have dance alone-

  33. Michael responded on 24 September 2017 at 7:43pm Reply

    The movement is very beautiful, but I was sorry not to see these ladies smile - they both have such radiant smiles! Duets for two women are certainly not new - just think of the wonderful duet for the young girls in grey in Les Biches

  34. Karen Buxton responded on 24 September 2017 at 8:54pm Reply

    Breathtaking!!

  35. Anders Kirby responded on 25 September 2017 at 12:56am Reply

    This is naff and specious. It's not a pas de deux, it's two women dancing at the same time, which is seen throughout ballet and modern dance and yes choreographed by women too. The 'choreographer's' (I use inverted commas because the choreographer is utterly talentless) knowledge of dance is non existent. Moreover, this 'dance' is trite, generic, derivative and awful. Sorry, just saying.

    • LabLady responded on 26 September 2017 at 8:55am

      Come on moderators. This personal criticism of the choreographer seems unnecessarily harsh, doesn't it? Structured criticism is interesting and informative. This is neither.

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 26 September 2017 at 11:03am

      Hi Heather,

      We try and ensure we publish as many comments as possible - even if we disagree. Of course, we try to walk the line between allowing free expression of opinion and ensuring nothing is published which is offensive.

      We're very pleased to see so many positive comments about the work, choreographed by Principal Character Artist Kristen McNally, who has danced with The Royal Ballet since 2002 and regularly choreographs work here.

      Many thanks,

      Mel

  36. Roberta Cirio responded on 25 September 2017 at 6:35pm Reply

    incantevole!!

  37. LabLady responded on 26 September 2017 at 9:12am Reply

    Really subtle, beautiful and rather mesmerising. The mood here reminded me a little of some of the gorgeous choreography in Woolf Works?

    • Anders Kirby responded on 27 September 2017 at 1:52pm

      How egregious that you would seek to curtail another's freedom of speech because it's contrary to yours.

  38. Frances Napier responded on 26 September 2017 at 2:18pm Reply

    quite beautiful and 'delicate', the choreography is exceptional.
    thank you for sharing this.

  39. Alton Kennedy responded on 29 September 2017 at 8:57pm Reply

    New for me the lines are delivered well want to see more

  40. Angelica responded on 9 October 2017 at 6:36pm Reply

    Love love life Kristen's work. Her choreography shows such a sensitivity to the music and this PDD was beautiful. I've always wondered at the lack of women to women pieces because choreographers seem to love the trope of an all male cast or male to male PDD. Would love to see more female duets and partnering. Maybe not with lifts but with more interaction btw the female dancers?

  41. Awesome!

  42. Hugh Axton responded on 19 November 2017 at 9:08pm Reply

    Totally delightful and so beautifully mesmeric, had to repeat it immediately as I needed more. Two of the RBs brilliant young dancers. Reading the credits I was surprised and delighted to see that the piece was choreographed by the multi talented Kristen McNally. She is also a talented presenter, so natural, relaxed and always smiling. I wish she would present the cinema streaming more often.
    Thank you for putting this beautiful piece on line.
    Hugh Axton

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