Pas de Deux

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Pas de Deux is found both as a dance term and as the name of particular plays.

Pas de Deux the term

This is a ballet term, referring to a dance by two performers, usually a man and a woman, though exceptions do exist. Characteristic of classical ballet, and popular examples are found in Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Giselle.

In 19th century theatre, such pieces were often be performed as interludes between plays in an evening's entertainment, and as part of vaudeville entertainments. This was also popular in in South Africa.

See also Pas Seul (a solo dance).

The plays

Besides specific plays by this name, the term is also used as a collective title for an evening of plays on occasion. For example, in 2013 a performance entitled Pas de Deux, consisting of two dance based plays - Skin Tight by Gary Henderson and 2-2 Tango Daniel MacIvor was performed at Studio Theatre’s 2nd Stage, Washington DC.[1]

Pas de Deux by Hugo Claus

The original text

Pas de Deux was originally written in Dutch by Hugo Claus (1929–2008)[2], and is set in a rehearsal room, where an actor and an actress are rehearsing a love scene.

Transation and adaptations

Translated into French as Pas de Deux by Alain van Crugten (1973)

Translated into Afrikaans with the same title by Jan C. Evertse.

Performance history in South Africa

2004: First performed in Afrikaans at the Klein Libertas Teater, directed by Juanita Swanepoel, with Nicole Holm, Johan Nel and the amateur actor from Stellenbosch, Pieter Retief.

2005: Performed in Afrikaans at the Albert Wessels Auditorium in Bloemfontein, once again directed by Juanita Swanepoel, with Nicole Holm, Johan Nel and Pieter Retief.


Hugo Claus. 1997. Théâtre complet, Volume 4: Bibliothéque L'Age d'Homme[3]

Volksblad, 16 July 2005.

Die Burger, 16 November 2010.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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