characteristics of Raymonda
Posted 18 March 2002 - 08:00 AM
Posted 18 March 2002 - 10:18 PM
Posted 19 March 2002 - 03:13 AM
I think you need a ballerina with a spirit like Danilova's -- I'll say it again, like a Tolstoy heroine (I'm thinking of Natasha Rostova, not ANna Karenina), high spirited, witty, poetic, someone you'd want to fight your way home to if it took you ten years -- more like Penelope of Ithaca than Helen of Troy. Actually, someone with typical Hungarian virtues -- wit, direct emotional connection, capacity for fantasy..... very big on wit....
Posted 19 March 2002 - 11:53 AM
There is wit in that role, isn't there? I don't know whether that's because I also associate it witih Danilova (only from photos, alas, but I've seen so many and heard so much about it that, like Fonteyn's Aurora, I think I've seen it) or because of some other reason.
It was made for an older dancer -- I believe Legnani was 35, if I'm remembering correctly. And it's a real Ballerina as General role (if you have a ballerina who can carry that off). I remember Semyenaka with the Bolshoi who made it both an athletic and artistic role. Athletic in the sense that you were very aware that she had a LOT of solos (is it seven?) and yet at the end, she looked as though she was just getting warmed up. And artistic because it wasn't Just Steps.
I loved Van Hamel's Raymonda. I can't honestly say I remember her that well in the Nureyev production, more in the Baryshnikov condensed version. But hers is the clapping solo that I remember most clearly -- and so I also think of Raymondas as being big and juicy 35 year olds. Quite a way from Legnani and Danilova smile.gif
Warmth. Authority. An autumnal quality. Terrific feat and a supple back.
Posted 19 March 2002 - 12:15 PM
She's the center of attention in Act I and clearly enjoys it. After reading the letter announcing the return of Jean de Brienne, she orders a cour d'amour to be prepared stat for the next day. She's not too courtly to resist dancing a solo in the middle of a waltz by a bunch of peasants. She enjoys spending time with her friends. She accompanies their dances on a lute and has enough energy after a long day to show them a new dance of her own.
In her nightmare vision scene with Abderrakhman, she stands up to him and rejects his advances. She doesn't faint until the end of the conversation (and maybe fainting was the proper way to indicate that the conversation was over).
In Act II, she doesn't faint a second time when Ab shows up instead of Jean. In fact, she's so feisty that Aunt Sybille has to remind her of her manners. So she dances with Ab, just to be polite, but doesn't give an inch.
In the final act, she jumps on the Hungarian band wagon and delivers the hottest number of the night. That's our girl!
Posted 19 March 2002 - 12:17 PM
Posted 19 March 2002 - 02:38 PM
Posted 21 March 2002 - 02:04 PM
And I second Manhattnik on wanting to see Meunier in the full role.
Perhaps we should have another thread for Balanchine's "glosses" on Raymonda.
Posted 21 March 2002 - 02:25 PM
I also think of Semyenaka as lyrical -- and a bit cold, in performance. Her body is a lighter instrument than Van Hamel's. Legnani looks as though she was a rather small dancer -- she's always in 19th century undergarments and so is very curvy, but she looks short. Definitely doesn't have the long line we think of as de rigeur today for a Raymonda (or an Odette, which she also created.)
All this talk about Pep makes me wonder how Kschessinska was in the role biggrin.gif Poor Saracen!
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