Which Raymondas have you seen?
Posted 06 March 2002 - 12:12 AM
The first I saw was Nureyev's for ABT, which I did not like -- I think it's the worst of his productions, even worse than the "Swan Lake." The Martha Graham hip thrusts, the change in the role of Abderachman (sp?) and, worst of all, turning everything into a dream AND stretching the dream over two acts. I saw this several times with different casts.
I've also seen the Bolshoi's, but not the Kirov's. I was interested in Jeannie's comments (in Recent Performances) about Grigorovich's staging (for the Bolshoi) seeming more "moderne" than Sergeyev's (for the Kirov. I haven't seen the Kirov's; a friend who did, and who likes mime, loved it, saying that the story had been gently reduced and pushed to the background, and there was just "cascade after cascade of classical and character dancing.") I thought Grigorovich's looked more "moderne" too, Jeannie. Perhaps it was the style, or the way the dancers sneered at playing courtiers. So I was interested in reading Doug's comments that Grigorovich's was actually more like the Petipa notation.
Doug, I hope you'll comment more on that.
Posted 06 March 2002 - 07:20 AM
Having studied various sections of Raymonda with various ballerinas of the Kirov, I have learned that it is perhaps one of the most misunderstood ballets. I will save this discussion for excerpts however, since that is when I have found it to be so misinterpreted.
Posted 06 March 2002 - 10:36 AM
Posted 06 March 2002 - 03:12 PM
The only version I have seen is The Bolshoi's - on video tape. frown.gif I like the film but it's very dark and hard to really see very well.
Posted 06 March 2002 - 05:11 PM
[ March 06, 2002, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: doug ]
Posted 06 March 2002 - 06:13 PM
When you say "women's classical variations" is that just Raymonda's? Or Henriette and Clemence's too?
Posted 06 March 2002 - 08:57 PM
Posted 06 March 2002 - 10:05 PM
I am not familiar with the libretto unfortunately, but would enjoy very much the opportunity to read the original. What I know is the old fashioned way in the ballet world, handing down from one dancer to the next. I know this has merit, but sometimes things can get changed with time.
Posted 06 March 2002 - 10:37 PM
Petipa asked Glazunov for three vision variations. He omitted the music for the third variation (subsequently choreographed by Balanchine and that's another story) and substituted an arrangement of a Glazunov waltz from "Scenes de Ballet" as a variation for Raymonda. The ballerinas performing the two vision variations were not originally Henriette and Clemence.
Posted 07 March 2002 - 07:12 AM
I have always been confused by the various interpretations of her role in particular. Having never seen an American full length version, when performed in excerpts, the role of Raymonda can become a bit more of a gypsy instead of French royalty. I have seen the Bolshoi version, various ballerinas, but only on video. For example Pliesetskaya is much more agressive in her approach to the role than say Kolpakova, Makhalia, or Komleva. Having studied the variations with Sulamith Messerer, Irina Kolpakova and Ninella Kurgapkina I have been fascinated by the differences in their interpretations. I was wondering if perhaps you could give us some insite into what the libretto says?
The excerpts I have seen in the US tend to follow more of the Bolshoi approach to this ballet than Kirov. Who staged the ABT version, I think it was back in the early 1980s? Does anyone know? It was not very close to the Kirov staging of the wedding act. Take a look at Makarova in the Ballerina video for yet again another take on, of course, just the wedding variation but it is quite a different idea of the role when put in context!
I would be very happy some insight, if anyone can help!
Posted 07 March 2002 - 11:16 AM
The Raymonda libretto has been translated by Roland John Wiley and is printed, along with an original cast list and list of dances (including how many dancers performed each dance), in his book, A Century of Russian Ballet (Oxford, 1990), pages 392-401.
Posted 07 March 2002 - 01:19 PM
Posted 07 March 2002 - 01:33 PM
But it would be fun to take the opportunity to talk about a work a lot of us have seen -- the SAME performance, so we can't wonder if I'd just gone the next night...... smile.gif If you don't own it and don't want to buy it, there are some video stores that let you rent.
Posted 07 March 2002 - 02:48 PM
It was, however, hard to fault the casting, with Nureyev as Jeanne de Brienne and Erik Bruhn as Abdel Rakhman (or however they decided to spell it), and various and sundry Raymondas: Gregory, Makarova, Van Hamel, Kirkland. Constant Readers will no doubt guess the one I admired the most.
Posted 07 March 2002 - 03:17 PM
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