Raymonda

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Ballets and revivals of Marius Petipa
Marius Petipa -1898.JPG

*Paquita (1847, *1881)
*Le Corsaire (1858, 1863, 1868, 1885, 1899)
The Pharaoh's Daughter (1862, *1885, *1898)
Le Roi Candaule (1868, *1891, *1903)
Don Quixote (1869, *1871)
La Bayadère (1877, *1900)
*Giselle (1884, 1899, 1903)
*Coppélia (1884)
*La fille mal gardée (1885)
*La Esmeralda (1886, 1899)
The Talisman (1889)
The Sleeping Beauty (1890)
The Nutcracker (1892)
Cinderella (1893)
Le Réveil de Flore (1894)
*Swan Lake (1895)
*The Little Humpbacked Horse (1895)
Raymonda (1898)
The Seasons (1900)
Harlequinade (1900)

* revival

Raymonda (Russian: Раймонда) is a ballet in three acts, four scenes with an apotheosis, choreographed by Marius Petipa, with music by Alexander Glazunov, his opus 57. First presented by the Imperial Ballet at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre on 19 January [O.S. 7 January] 1898 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Among the ballet's most celebrated passages is the Pas Classique hongrois or Raymonda Pas de dix from the third act, which is often performed independently.

Synopsis[edit]

Act I[edit]

Scene 1: Raymonda's feast

At the castle of Doris, preparations are under way for the celebrations of the young countess Raymonda’s name day. Countess Sybille, her aunt, chides those who are present - including Raymonda's two friends Henrietta and Clémence, and the two troubadours Béranger and Bernard - for their idleness and their passion for dancing, telling them of the legendary White Lady, the protector of the castle, who warns the Doris household every time one of its members is in danger and casts punishment on those who do not fulfil their duties. The young people laugh at the countess’s superstitions and continue to celebrate. The seneschal of the Doris castle announces the arrival of a messenger, sent by Raymonda's fiancé, the noble Crusader knight, Jean de Brienne, bearing a letter for his beloved. Raymonda rejoices when she reads that King Andre II of Hungary, for whom Jean de Brienne has fought, is returning home in triumph, and Jean de Brienne will arrive at the Doris castle the next day for their wedding. But suddenly, the celebrations are interrupted when the seneschal announces the uninvited arrival of the Saracen knight, Abderakhman and his followers, who have stopped at the castle seeking shelter for the night. Captivated by Raymonda's beauty, Abderakhman falls in love with her at once and resolves to do anything to win her. The party lasts late into the night and, left alone and exhausted by the day, Raymonda lies down on a couch and falls asleep. As she sleeps, she begins to dream; the White Lady appears illuminated by the moonlight and, with an imperious gesture, orders Raymonda to follow her.

Scene 2: The Visions

The White Lady, without making a sound, advances along the terrace. Raymonda follows her in a state of unconsciousness. At a signal from the White Lady, the garden is wrapped in mist. A moment later, the mist vanishes and Jean de Brienne appears. Overjoyed, Raymonda runs into his arms and they are surrounded by glory, knights and celestial maidens. The garden is illuminated by a fantastic light and Raymonda expresses her joy to the White Lady, who interrupts her enthusiasm with a vision of what awaits her. Raymonda wants to return to her fiancé, but instead, she finds Abderakhman, who has taken Jean de Brienne's place. Abderakhman declares his passionate love for her, but Raymonda, though confused and upset, is quick to reject him. Imps and elves appear from everywhere surrounding Raymonda, who begs the White Lady to save her and Abderakhman tries to take Raymonda by force. Raymonda cries out and falls to the ground in a faint. The frightful vision disappears along with the White Lady.

Act II[edit]

The Courtyard of the Castle

The feast in honour of Jean de Brienne's arrival is taking place. Raymonda welcomes her guests, but cannot hide her uneasiness caused by Jean de Brienne’s delay. Abderakhman approaches her repeatedly and reveals his passion for her, but remembering the warnings of the White Lady, Raymonda rejects him with contempt. Abderakhman becomes even more insistent and realises the only way to possess Raymonda is by force. He calls his slaves to dance for her, after which he summons his cup bearers and they pour a potion into everyone’s cup, causing all the guests to become drunk. Seizing his chance, Abderakhman grabs Raymonda in an attempt to abduct her, but luckily, Jean de Brienne arrives just in time, accompanied by King Andre II and his knights. Jean de Brienne saves Raymonda from the hands of the Saracens and tries to seize Abderakhman. The King commands the two rivals to put an end to the matter in a duel, during which the White Lady appears on the castle tower. Abderakhman is dazed and dies, slain by Jean de Brienne's sword. Raymonda joyfully embraces her fiancé and the two reaffirm their love as the King joins their hands.

Act III[edit]

The Wedding

Raymonda and Jean de Brienne are finally married and King Andre II of Hungary and the countess Sybille give the newly wedded couple their blessing. In honour of the distinguished guest, a feast of a range of Hungarian dances is held, ending in an apotheosis where everyone comes together in a knightly tournament.

History[edit]

Composition history[edit]

Raymonda was the creation of Marius Petipa, the renowned Maître de Ballet to the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres, the composer Alexander Glazunov, the director of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres Ivan Vsevolozhsky, and the author and columnist Countess Lidiya Pashkova.

Performance history[edit]

St. Petersburg Premiere (World Premiere)

Moscow Premiere

Other Notable Productions

Act I of the original production of Raymonda on the stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. In the center is Pierina Legnani, creator of the title role.
Pierina Legnani—creator of the title role—costumed for Act I of Raymonda. She is shown in a pose from the celebrated Entrée de Raymonde, in which the heroine collects a series of flowers placed on the floor. St. Petersburg, 1898
Natalia Bessmertnova as Raymonda and Gediminas Taranda as Abderakhman in the Grand Pas d'action from the Bolshoi Ballet's production of the Petipa/Glazunov Raymonda. Moscow, 1980
  • 1908, Moscow, Bolshoy Theatre, Balletmaster Gorsky, conductor Arends, décor by Konstantin Korovin
Artem Ovcharenko as Jean de Brienne, Bolshoi theater, 2011

Original Interpreters

Role St. Petersburg 1898 Moscow 1900 Moscow 1908
Raymonda Pierina Legnani Adelaide Giuri Yekaterina Geltser
Jean de Brienne Sergey Legat Mikhail Mordkin Vasiliy Tikhomirov
Henrietta Olga Preobrajenska
Clémence Klavdiya Kulichevskaya
Abderakhman Pavel Gerdt M. Shchipachov

The full-length Raymonda has been revived many times throughout its performance history, the most noted productions being staged by Mikhail Fokine for the Ballets Russes (1909); Anna Pavlova for her touring company (1914); George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (1946); Konstantin Sergeyev for the Kirov Ballet (1948); Rudolf Nureyev for American Ballet Theatre (1975), and for the Paris Opera Ballet (1983); Yuri Grigorovich for the Bolshoi Ballet (1984); Anna-Marie Holmes (in a 2-act reduction) for the Finnish National Ballet (2004), a version which was then staged for American Ballet Theatre (2004) and the Dutch National Ballet (2005).

There have been many productions around the world of only extracts from the full-length Raymonda, being for the most part taken from the Grand Pas Classique Hongrois from the third Act, which is considered to be among Marius Petipa's supreme masterworks. The most noted of these productions have been staged by George Balanchine for the New York City Ballet (1955, 1961, 1973); Rudolf Nureyev for the Royal Ballet Touring Company (1964); and Mikhail Baryshnikov for American Ballet Theatre (1980, 1987).

In 2005 the Australian Ballet Company performed a modern version of Raymonda, set in the 1950s, where Raymond is a Hollywood star and has filmed her last film before marrying a European prince. It was choreographed by Stephen Baynes and bears no resemblance to the original ballet.

Structure[edit]

Act I (scene 1) — La fête de Raymonde

  • no.01 Introduction
  • no.02 Jeux et danses
—a. La traditrice
  • no.03 Entrée de Raymonde
  • no.04 Scène
  • interpolation: Entrée d'Abdéràme
  • no.05 Entrée des vassals et des esclaves
  • no.06 Pas d'ensemble —
a. Valse provençale
b. Pizzicato – Variation de Raymonde
c. Coda (repirse de la valse)
  • no.07 Départ des invitées
  • no.08 La romanesque
  • no.09 Une fantaisie – Variation de Raymonde
  • no.10 Clémence joue du luth
  • no.11 L'apparition de la Dame Blanche
  • no.12 Entr'acte symphonique

Act I (scene 2) — Visions

  • no.13 Grand scène du rêve
  • no.14 Entrée de Jean de Brienne
  • no.15 Grand Pas d'action —
a. Grand adage
b. Valse fantastique
c. Variation I
d. Variation II
e. Variation de Raymonde (cut by Petipa from the original production)
interpolation: Variation pour Mlle. Legnani (arranged by Glazunov from the Valse of his 1894 Scènes de Ballet, op. 52)
f. Grand coda
  • no.16 Scène dramatique
  • no.17 Ronde des follets et des farfadets

Act I (scene 3) — L'aurore

  • no.18 Scène finale

Act II — Cour d'amour

  • no.19 Ouverture
  • no.20 Marche
  • no.21 Entrée d'Abdéràme
  • no.22 Pas d'action —
a. Grand adage
b. Variation d'Henriette
c. Variation de Clémence
d. Variation de Béranger (modern productions use this music as a solo for Jean de Brienne in the Pas classique hongrois of act III)
e. Variation de Raymonde
f. Grand coda
  • no.23 Scène
  • Grand divertissement —
no.24 Pas des esclaves sarrasins
no.25 Pas des mariscos
no.26 Danse sarrasine
no.27 Pandéros
no.28 Danse orientale (transformed by Petipa into the scene Les échansons)
no.29 Coda générale / Bacchanalia
  • no.30 L'arrivée de Jean de Brienne et de Roi André II
  • no.31 Le combat
  • no.32 Dénouement et final

Act III — Le festival des noces

  • no.33 Entr'acte
  • no.34 Grand cortège hongrois
  • no.35 Rapsodie
  • no.36 Palotás
  • interpolation: Mazurka (Insertion from Glazunov's 1894 Scènes de Ballet, op. 52)
  • no.37 Pas classique hongrois —
a. Entrée
b. Grand adage
c. Variation I
d. Variation II (cut by Petipa from the original production)
e. Variation pour quatre danseurs
f. Variation de Raymonde
interpolation: Variation de Béranger (added by Konstantin Sergeyev as a variation for Jean de Brienne, 1948. Taken from the Act II Pas d'action)
interpolation: Male Variation (added by Yuri Grigorovich. Fashioned from the Rapsodie)
g. Grand coda
  • no.38 Galop générale
  • no.39 Apothéose – Tourney

External links[edit]