#TBT: Élisabeth Platel and Nicholas Le Riche in "Grand Pas Classique" (1993)

As any bunhead can attest, sometimes there is nothing more exhilarating than pure ballet technique in all its glory. Victor Gsovsky's famous plotless pas de deux, Grand Pas Classique, is a celebration of just that. In this clip from a 1993 gala, former Paris Opera Ballet étoiles Élisabeth Platel and Nicholas Le Riche's performance of the piece is pristine classical perfection. The dancers appear the epitome of elegance in crisp white costumes against a blue backdrop. From the moment the two touch hands and Platel whips into a double soutenu en dedans, you know you're in for a treat.



The adagio is delightfully dramatic; the score alternates between lyrical and allegro sections, and the choreography features intricate promenades and several unsupported balances for the ballerina. Both Le Riche and Platel bring a gorgeous sense of length and line to each step, a testament to their French training. Le Riche, just 21 years old here, sails through the endless tours and batterie in his variation. In Platel's, every sous-sus and coupé is as clean and stunning as her pirouettes and ballonnés. Her attention to detail makes the variation much more beautiful than just a series of tricks. The icing on the cake, however, are her fouettés. A little surprise flair makes the coda a showstopper, even after the spectacular pas. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

Latest Posts


Pacific Northwest Ballet's Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan, photographed by Jayme Thornton for Pointe

The Radiant Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan: Why She's One to Watch at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Hollywood could make a movie about Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan's big break at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

It was November 2017, and the company was performing Crystal Pite's film-noir–inspired Plot Point, set to music by Bernard Hermann from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Ryan, then a first-year corps member, originally was understudying the role of another dancer. But when principal Noelani Pantastico was injured in a car accident, Ryan was tapped to take over her role.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Maria Alexandrova, Maria Allash and Yevgeny Ivanchenko in "Swan Lake"

While not nearly as common as the pas de deux, the pas de trois is a frequent feature in classical ballets that poses its own unique challenges. The seamless braiding of three dancers, in which all can equally shine, is no easy feat. In this clip from 2002, the Bolshoi Ballet stars Maria Alexandrova and Maria Allash and Mariinsky Ballet principal Yevgeny Ivanchenko, achieve that synergy in this sumptuous pas de trois from Act I of Swan Lake.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Yonah Acosta in Sin La Habana, Courtesy Miami Film Festival

The Miami Film Festival Is Streaming 2 Films Spotlighting Cuban Ballet Dancers, Including Yonah Acosta

Many ballet companies are sharing digital productions these days, but if you want to get your ballet fix on the silver screen, the Miami Film Festival has something for you—and you don't have to fly to Miami to see it! Two ballet-centric films, the drama Sin La Habana (Without Havana) and documentary Cuban Dancer, will be featured in theaters and virtually at the 38th annual Miami Film Festival, running March 5 to 14.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks