Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux with Patricia McBride and Mikhail Baryshnikov was recorded in 1979. George Balanchine acquired the rights to the music in 1953 and he used it to devise a party piece for a principal couple, amending the choreography each time to suit each pair of dancers. You have to admire Patricia McBride’s diamond-edged footwork including entrechats skimmed millimetres from the floor, or wonder how Baryshnikov’s twelfth consecutive double cabriole can look as easy and elegant as the first.
Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux
The eight-minute display of ballet bravura and technique, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux uses music that the composer belatedly created for Act III of Swan Lake. It was hurriedly composed for Anna Sobeshchanskaya, a Bolshoi prima ballerina who was scheduled to make her debut in the title role at the fourth performance of the 1877 Moscow production, and sought to enrich the part of Odile. Because the music was not in the original score, it was not published with the rest of Swan Lake, and disappeared for more than half a century. When discovered in the Bolshoi Theater archives in 1953, Balanchine sought and received permission to use it for his own choreography.