Petit Pas (2017)
Choreography: Brandon Whited
Music: "Keep," and "More" by Nils Frahm
Set and Costumes: Brandon Whited
Lighting: Michael Klears
Dancers: Shelby Lynn Joyce, Brandon Whited
Petit Pas is a contemporary exploration of duet form, in dialogue with the classic form of Marius Petipa’s 'Grand Pas de Deux' structure. Reframing the spatial dynamics, qualitative emphasis and the balance of power and agency - situated within the confines of the traditional gender binary - Brandon wishes to interrogate the very foundation of traditional view on the duet form, offering an alternative expression drawn from its very essence.
The Solo for Shelby is an expression of the virtuosic, direct, expansive qualities of the variation for the Premiere Danseur. Utilizing the entire stage space, freedom from restrictions on phrasing and timing, and an outward expression of dynamic virtuosity, she evokes the power of the many Princes and Cavaliers who came before her.
In contrast, the solo for Brandon - performed entirely with eyes closed - is meant as gentle and subtle expression of vulnerability, softness, navigation of emotional interiority, and limitation within space. All of which exist in stark contrast to the open, full agency of the previous solo.
To close this iteration of the pas, the pivotal adagio duet is invoked for it's nuance and emotional impact, expression of the composite of two opposite energies and physicalities, and marks a turn away from the confines of tradition within partnering.