& Critics

Grand Pas Classique

This pas de deux was made by Victor Gsovski specially for Ivette Chauvire and Wladimir Skouratoff, upon fragments of Daniel-François-Esprit Auber’s Marco Spada, within the frame of the Ballets des Champs-Elysées on 1949.

On Ivette Chauvire’ own words: “Gsovski made for me the Grand Pas Classique in 1949. He entitled it so because he wanted it to be really classic, academic. Everything must remain on the most absolute pattern. That is what gives the panache, the diagonal and variation’s elegance, the humour,the spirit, the retained voluptuous tenderness of this woman who is aware she’s loved and who loves also, on the adage, but who always dominates.”

“Gsovski explained to me: “You are the King’s favourite. On this diagonal, you pass in front of the Court through the Mirrors’ Gallery. You can’t pass then anyhow. It’s all the official classicism but with a glorious presence and authority. She expresses her beauty’s supremacy, her dominion, her position. Thus, at the first step you put,at the second you maintain, even when musically it’s the same thing. At the second you maintain even more and at the last time you pass à la seconde, attittude passée, très soutenue. The arms? You put them here, it passes en première and you return there! And above all, no superflous details.It’s the rigorism which gives the diagonal its fierce noble tone that makes an impact, the beauty. If not, it becomes rough, a simple virtuosity.”

“On this choreography there is a special relief, a sense, and you must “put” everything on the precise moment, on the precise rythm, on the precise costume, with the least detail on your feet, on your walk, from the point to the knee. In the manège, for instance, you must value certain elements and finish it gloriously. Everything is built up on the choreography, the feminine itself, capricious, aware of her beauty, her seduction. You must begin like that, but without any excess, and make the turns seconde attittude with irony. The great diagonal finally it’s the feminine’s triumph. If you are able to feel what you must be through the technique, then you are a dancer. It’s like that you must dance. If not, there are many other pas de deux more efficacious. If you give it its true character, this one remains unmatched.”

Chauviré - Skouratoff in "Grand Pas Classique"
(Photo: Serge Lido)