The choreography by Lev Ivanov, created for the 1895 revival of Swan Lake, was meant to imitate swans huddling together and moving together for protection. Four dancers enter the stage in a line and pass with their arms crossed in front of each other, grabbing the hands of the following dancers. They move sideways, doing sixteen pas de chat. Ideally, the dancers move exactly or almost in unison. At the very end, they break their chain and try to “fly”, but fall to the ground.
According to ballet scriptwriter Jean Batty Lewis in a 1997 NPR commentary, the Little Swans are usually portrayed by unknown, up-and-coming dancers. Ironically, in view of the conformity required of the quartet, the role of the Little Swan is often seen as a chance to stand out, get noticed, and get bigger roles. An example of the comedic potential of this dance can be seen in Morecambe and Wise’s Scouts.
Danse des petits cygnes is a dance from Tchaikovsky’s opera “Swan Lake”, from the second act of the ballet. Translated from French, it means “Dance of the Little Swans”, also known as “Dance of the Swans”. “. It’s very difficult because all the dancers have to look the same, doing the same footwork and holding hands at the same time.