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.
Allash and Alexandrova move with mesmerizing synchronization. They travel as one, taking the same precisely timed steps, and bend with the same lush cambré in the motif that appears at 0:38. Ivanchenko complements the two with his regal air. The women's costumes—gorgeous romantic tutus of yellow tulle—also add a softness to the piece, as their skirts flit and float about them.
In their variations, the dancers command the Bolshoi Theater's expansive stage. Allash sails across the space in buoyant pas de chats and a wide manège; Ivanchecko shows his power and crisp technique in a diagonal of double tours en l'air; and Alexandrova flies, as if blown by a breeze, in brisk, light pas de couru. The coda shows their power in unison as the dancers chug together across the stage and Alexandrova and Allash soar in suspended jetés. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!