The Black Swan (Pas de deux)

Marius Petipa

The Grand Pas de Deux from the third act of Swan Lake – widely known as the ‘Black Swan’ Pas de Deux – is an iconic moment from a ballet that has come to define the art form. The duet is remarkable for its powerfully dramatic choreography and music, which, unusually, uses the five-part structure and virtuoso display typical of a grand pas de deux to progress the plot of the ballet.

  • World premiere: Teatro Mariinsky Ballet at Teatro Mariinsky, Saint Petersburg (Russia), January 15th 1895
  • Premiere by CND: Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid (Spain), January 19th 1984

Prince Siegfried has fallen for Odette, the victim of an evil spirit who has been condemned to live as a swan unless someone who has never loved before swears to love her forever. During a ball at the palace, Von Rothbart – the evil spirit in human form – arrives with his daughter Odile, who by magic resembles Odette. Not realizing that he is being deceived, the Prince falls under her spell.


  • Choreography:
    Marius Petipa
  • Music:
    Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
  • Duration:
    12 minutes