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Pas de Quatre

Four Little Swans, Pas de Quatre—Swanlake by 900 x 1000 cm Paper Installation,

Handmade Copper Cardboard in Roll with Deckle Edges, 350 g/mÇ Natural Pigment

Lev Ivanov 1895, Vienna 2013


Dancers National Slovak Ballet: Ashley Lunn, Sarah Millner, Sumire Shojima and Sakura Shojima

Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


The pas de quatre, The Dance of the Four Little Swans by Lev Ivanov from Tchaikovskyʼs

Swan Lake is the first work in the Signapura series to record Classical Ballet visually. Selected

as one of the most difficult choreographic moments—created by Lev Ivanov and later

adapted by Rudolf Nureyev—in the career of a classic ballerina. It is one and a half minutes in

which the technique requires perfect execution and in which the four ballerinas are uniquely

dependent on the other in a totality hardly existing in other pieces. The successful danced

role is almost like a transition ritual of the dancers to a soloist or demi-soloist and it is a special

honor to the dancersʼ skill to have this role in the piece, which lasts almost three hours in

total. The moment of the pas de quatre resembles a climax in the performance of Swan Lake,

even though it is so short and sublime, ephemeral and tender as much as result of hard work,

just as the traces of the dots tripping out of the paper show.

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