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NYCB Vol. 10 No. 32 - Tschaikovsky Pas De Deux

Violette Verdy: "The Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, which became practically my signature piece, was not meant for me at all. It was for Diana Adams and Jacques d'Amboise, but Diana hurt her foot, and Conrad Ludlow and I were understudies, so we were the first ones to do it. I think Diana became injured before the solo was completed and Balanchine finished it on me, which of course made it somewhat mine. I couldn't resist giving it some of those little phrasings and accents that I had been taught by the Russians. Balanchine didn't mind. I've always especially liked dancing to a violin, because it gives a sensuous quality to the way you use your muscles. You have to sustain the movement. [At the bottom of this post I've included footage of Violette dancing the solo]

"But I'll tell you, no matter how divine it is to dance Balanchine's ballets even after they've been done by twenty-six other people, nothing can compare with working with him and seeing him create something in front of you, for you. Seeing how he solves the problems that come up with the music, and how simple and right his solutions are. It happens with no one else in that way."

--Violette Verdy in Balanchine's Ballerinas by Robert Tracy (affiliate link)

(left) Photo by Fred Fehl, 1963. Harry Ransom Center

(center &right) Photos by John Lindquist. Jacob's Pillow

Video via John Clifford on Youtube

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