I always thought Lydia was a famous novelist of historical romances--but this was an original story.
No matter--I do like that Grigorovich's production for the Bolshoi has Jeanne come in the opening scene to say goodbye to Raymonda--which makes much more story and dramatic sense than Ab coming there. I hear the production has dropped the White Lady that was in it when it was recorded in the 80s though--which is too bad. The Bolshoi uses the White Lady's music bit in the battle for Raymonda now--which I also think is a disservice.
I wish they'd do some sort of reconstruction of this--it's my fave of the 1800s ballets after Beauty (yes, I know) and I think, as was mentioned here, cutting out nearly all the mime is really not a good idea. Now that audiences seem to be more accepting of mime, I hope to see some changes made. The story is a silly mess, but so is Le Corsair, or Fille du Pharoan and those don't have that gorgeous music (or IMHO dancing) behind them. However i have to say I do like Aberkham as a dancing role--a showy one, though if they did a strict reconstruction he'd be relegated to all mime. But I could handle that
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