Our mind is wired to respond to change and difference with attention. This enables us to adapt to new conditions and helps us survive. Because of the time element involved in live arts, this is an important consideration when composing a piece. Contrast tends to keep the audience attentive. However, if everything is different and changing all the time, this would become the constant and the mind would register sameness as the contrasting element. Routine can turn my attention off. What do I need to break the routine and wake up? Is it a routine of sameness or a routine of irregularity? Do I need something extraordinary or, rather, some continuity?
In a duet, the two performers have equal importance. This balance does not imply that they both do the same thing, or that they do different things for an equal amount of time each. Duality pervades the way we perceive reality and often we see one of the poles as positive and the other as negative. However, in a duet no such vision is possible, because both performers are working at the service of the composition. Sometimes it can be difficult to accept that someone has a different way of going about things. It might be useful to approach whatever we are doing together as a duet, letting differences exist and finding the synergy between them.