Pas de quatre

Ballet Term Definition

How to say & pronounce Pas de quatre:

pawh du ka-tra

What does Pas de quatre translate to?

dance for four

Similar to a pas de deux, pas de quatre is a classical ballet term meaning “dance for four.”

One of the most famous pas de quatre is the dance of the four little swans, or the “pas de cygnets” in the second act of Swan Lake.  This shows the four female dancers with their arms interlinked the whole dance, performing quick steps in unison.  This particular pas de quatre is very recognizable in pop culture and is often used in parodies, usually showing the sequences of pas de chats or passés.

Another widely known pas de quatre is an actual short ballet titled “pas de quatre,” choreographed by Jules Perrot in 1845.  This ballet starred famous ballerinas of the time, including the famed Maria Taglioni.


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