During ballet competitions or gala performances, dancers have only a short amount of time to convey the power of a pas de deux. Without the context of the entire ballet, they must bring the story's energy to life with only their bodies, costumes and the music. This clip from 2011 shows American Ballet Theatre principal Xiomara Reyes and Rolando Sarabia performing the Diana and Actaeon pas de deux at the 5th International Ballet Star Gala in Taipei. The divertissement makes an appearance in a number of Romantic ballets, and depicts the mythological character of Diana, goddess of the hunt--a role that undoubtedly requires a dancer with a strong and commanding presence.
Xiomara Reyes masters this challenge with sound tenacity, lighting fire to the stage with her strong lines and powerful limbs. She portrays her character's joy and pride, revealing fearlessness in her movement (just watch that sauté into a penché at 2:50). After an international career and 14 years with American Ballet Theatre, Reyes will retire from the company on May 27. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!