Choreographer Roland Petit was for years the ballet world’s master of theatrical showmanship. Bolstered by rich, beautifully designed costumes and decor, his works oozed sensual style.
Yet even stripped of all that pageantry, his choreography retains an electric charge. Witness this bare-bones video from some years back of Alessandra Ferri and Laurent Hilaire dancing the pas de deux from Petit’s Carmen (originally performed by Petit and his wife, Zizi Jeanmaire). Yes, it helped that Ferri and Hilaire were phenomenal dancers—Ferri a star at La Scala and then American Ballet Theatre, Hilaire a Paris Opéra étoile—with great chemistry. But the real heat comes from the choreography itself. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!