Pas de Deux
Drawing by Stanley Roseman of Paris Opéra star dancers Charles Jude and Florence Clerc, "Comme on respire," 1991, Pencil on paper, Uffizi Gallery, Florence. © Stanley Roseman
Charles Jude and Florence Clerc, 1991
Paris Opéra Ballet
Comme on respire
Pencil on paper, 37.5 x 27.5 cm
Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe,
    ''The first time I saw Stanley Roseman, I was waiting in the wings to make my entrance on stage. I saw him make several broad pencil strokes and turn his pages at full speed. I was very interested, as I love drawings, but I must admit I was a little skeptical.
- Florence Clerc
  Star Dancer of the Paris Opéra
    "At the end of the performance, I crossed the stage towards him to see the results. I was astounded! He had captured the movement in several seconds. Since then I have seen many of his drawings; I recognize immediately the work, the passage, and the interpretation. For me, his drawings are dance itself.''*
© Stanley Roseman and Ronald Davis - All Rights Reserved
Visual imagery and website content may not be reproduced in any form whatsoever.
The pas de deux in Romantic and classical ballets and in works of modern dance is represented in Roseman's drawings and include dancers in diverse roles such as Shakespeare's ill-fated lovers Romeo and Juliet; Indian temple dancer Nikiya and her beloved, noble warrior Solor in La Bayadère; and troubled Blanche Du Bois remembering her deceased, young husband Allan Gray in the balletic version of A Streetcar Named Desire. Male and female dancers as their own identities in pas de deux are also depicted in Roseman's drawings from works choreographed to a variety of music.
     The drawing Charles Jude and Florence Clerc is rendered with fluent, nuanced pencil lines on paper to depict the graceful dance movements of those two great star dancers. Their arms outstretched and their heads inclined, they dance together in beautiful harmony to the celebrated Irish composer's Nocturne no. 4 in A major for piano. As Florence Clerc told Roseman, ''dancing in this pas de deux is just as one breathes'' -  for it was she who had given the title to the choreographic work Comme on respire.
     The distinguished Ballet Master and choreographer Eugene Polyakov and his equally respected colleague Ballet Master Patrice Bart were Interim Directors of the Dance when Roseman was invited to draw the dance at the Paris Opéra in 1989. Roseman has expressed his deep gratitude to them in his journal and acknowledges that they "were most gracious and welcoming to me and expressed sincere interest in my work.''[1]
 * Stanley Roseman - Dessins sur la Danse à l'Opéra de Paris, (Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 1996), pp. 13, 14.
1. See "My First Days of Drawing the Dance at the Paris Opéra" on the website
     John Field's Nocturne no. 4 in A Major provides the lyrical music for the beautiful pas de deux Comme on respire choreographed by Paris Opéra Ballet Master Eugene Polyakov for star dancers Charles Jude and Florence Clerc, who are seen in Roseman's sublime drawing presented at the top of the page and conserved in the Uffizi Gallery, in Florence. Polyakov, born in Moscow and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School, became a respected teacher at the school and an esteemed choreographer in Russia and in the West. "Nureyev invited his compatriot to join him at the Paris Opéra as senior Ballet Master,'' recounts Roseman, who writes that Polyakov "upheld the perfectionism that Nureyev had instilled in the dancers of the Paris Opéra Ballet.''
Page 4 - Pas de Deux
This page will present a further selection of drawings of the pas de deux: Isabelle Guérin and Laurent Hilaire in La Bayadère; Manuel Legris and Elisabeth Maurin in Romeo and Juliet; and Marcia Haydée and Tamas Detrich in A Streetcar named Desire presented by the Stuttgart Ballet in a guest appearance at the Paris Opéra in 1992.
Please return again.