There are a few male dancers of the 1960s and 70s whose technique would stand up to current day standards. Danish dancer Peter Schaufuss is in that category. In addition to his precise technique from his Bournonville training, he ranks high on the razzle dazzle scale with creative innovations, with a prominent step in Le Corsaire named after him. His turning skills were remarkable as he was able to effortlessly maintain 6+ turns in various turn sequences. Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolph Nureyev are on most ballet fan’s lists of great male dancers of the era. Peter Schaufuss should also be on that list. This video explores Peter’s more athletic variations, going in depth on the features that make him stand out. Schaufuss is a dancer that has always fascinated me.
As a dancer in the 1980s, I heard from others about how good he was. Without any video of him in the pre-YouTube era, I was not able to see his work. In my previous video on Carlos Acosta, Stephen Nelson commented that a funky step in the Le Corsaire variation is called the “Schaufuss Step.” That brought back memories and I discovered his variations on YouTube from the BBC documentary “A Proper Job.” These solos are outstanding; I could see why dancers were talking about him in the 1980s. This video is the result. Let me know if you have any comments. Thanks for tuning in. Many thanks to Stephen Nelson (@abbadonnergal) for insightful comments on the video that greatly shaped the content.