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Notable Productions of Raymonda????


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Solor

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 01:24 AM

I was wondering if anyone knew, the revivals of "Raymonda" that tookplace at both the Kirov and the Bolshoi since its 1898 premiere. I know that the version danced by the Mariinksy today is of Sergeyev's 1948 version, but what of the version that came before that by Vaganova, Gorsky (was there one?). How about Nureyev's revivals? Balanchine's? All info would be helpful.

#2 Solor

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 08:29 PM

I was wondering if anyone knew, the revivals of "Raymonda" that tookplace at both the Kirov and the Bolshoi since its 1898 premiere. I know that the version danced by the Mariinksy today is of Sergeyev's 1948 version, but what of the version that came before that by Vaganova, Gorsky (was there one?). How about Nureyev's revivals? Balanchine's? All info would be helpful.

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#3 Mel Johnson

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 09:09 PM

The Balanchine/Danilova staging dated from 1946, if that's any help to you. And Nureyev's staging was first done on the old Royal Ballet Touring Section in 1964, then set on ABT in 1975. It was subsequently set on the Paris Opera Ballet in 1983.

#4 Paul Parish

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 11:18 PM

Solor, I don't KNOW much about Grigorovich's version for the Bolshoi except that I've seen it on tour and loved it and would recommend that you find out what you can about it. G's version has a spectacularly grateful role for Abderakhman, but I have to say it surprised me how much delicacy there is in the production -- not quite enough mime, but it doesn't really harm it -- the atmosphere is continuous --and there's SO MUCH wonderful dancing.

There's a dreary video of it out on Kultur -- only dreary becausethey haven't adjusted the lighting to make it congenial for the screen, and and hte camera-wrk is pedestrian. But it was a live performance and a GREAT evening -- wonderful performances by Semenyaka, mukhamedov, and hte fabulous Gediminas Taranda. Actually Semenyaka is gloroius, and the Hungarian variation is out of this world, the best I've ever seen.

#5 Solor

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 11:36 PM

yes I have that film, and I find the Grigorovich's staging and Virsaladz's decor to be horrific.

I was wondering when the other versions staged after the orignal Petipa staging in 1898 took place, such as any that took place at the Mariinksy prior to Sergeyev's 1948 re-staging, and any that were mounted at the Bolshoi following the turn of the 20th century.

Also, what was the 1st staging outside of Russia?

#6 Herman Stevens

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 01:32 AM

Solor, I don't KNOW much about Grigorovich's version for the Bolshoi except that I've seen it on tour and loved it and would recommend that you find out what you can about it. G's version has a spectacularly grateful role for Abderakhman, but I have to say it surprised me how much delicacy there is in the production -- not quite enough mime, but it doesn't really harm it -- the atmosphere is continuous --and there's SO MUCH wonderful dancing.

There's a dreary video of it out on Kultur -- only dreary becausethey haven't adjusted the lighting to make it congenial for the screen, and  and hte camera-wrk is pedestrian. But it was a live performance and a GREAT evening -- wonderful performances by Semenyaka, mukhamedov, and hte fabulous Gediminas Taranda. Actually Semenyaka is gloroius, and the Hungarian variation is out of this world, the best I've ever seen.

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Obviously the same Gri. production is available on dvd with the ubiquitous Bessmertnova as Raymonda, and Taranda in the same rôle. The camera work is better; Bessmertnova's foot- and legwork is tremendously beautiful; there just seems to be a consensus that Semenyaka's more supple arms and back are a plus for Raymonda.

Speaking of entirely other productions of Raymonda; there is Anne-Marie Holmes' production which has been staged at various places recently, such as the ABT and the Finnish National Ballet, and I'm very much suspecting this production had been acquired by the Dutch National, too, for 2007. So if anybody's seen it I'd be interested to hear what it's like.

#7 Paul Parish

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 10:10 AM

According to my INDISPENSIBLE Balanchine/Mason "Complete Stories of the Great Ballets,"p 500, the first version in the US was a reduced version for the Ballets Russes staged by Balanchine and Danilova, March 1946 at the City Center in New York.

Solor, and everbody, if you don't have this book, get it -- there is excellent information, many extended quotes from important reviews of important productnos (in this case, nearly a page about Nureyev's production for Australian ballet 1965, reviewed very favorably by John Percival and -- the ABT production by Nureyev, 1975, by John Elison in TIme. htre's also a note that Ballet Review vol 5, #2, has a translatoni of Petipa's scenario and notes to the composer.

The revised and enlarged version of Balanchine covers 404 ballets and is worth searching the internet for: doubleday 1977.

#8 EricMontreal22

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 02:01 PM

I have with me the 1987 book The Authorised Bolshoi Ballet Book of Raymonda which is basically about Yuri Grigorovich's production (it was a whole series done in English--I have the Sleeping Beauty one as well). Its focus is on the Bolshoi and this is what it lists for Bolshoi productions of the ballet. Interestingly, it doesn't look liek the original Petipa production was ever done in Moscow.

1 1900-1908
Conductor - A Arends
Choreographers - I Khlustin, A Gorsky
Designers - K Valtz, P Isskov

2 1908-1915
Conductor - A Arends
Choreography - A Gorsky
Designer - K Korovin

3 1918-1939
Conductor - Ju. Fayer
Choreography - A Gorsky
Designer - K Korovin

4 April 7, 1949
Conductor - Yu. Fayer
Choreography - A Gorsky, staged in version of L Lavrosky
Designer - S Kobuladze

5 June 29, 1984
Conductor - A Ziuraitis
Choreography - M Petipa, revised version by Yu Grigorovich
Designer - S Virsaladze.

The Bolshoi website lists their current production from 2003 but it's the same Grigorovich/Virsaladze production just with some changes made (The White Lady, in a move I don't really like, is now completely gone from the ballet).

#9 leonid17

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 03:49 PM

I have with me the 1987 book which is basically about Yuri Grigorovich's production (it was a whole series done in English--I have the Sleeping Beauty one as well). Its focus is on the Bolshoi and this is what it lists for Bolshoi productions of the ballet. Interestingly, it doesn't look liek the original Petipa production was ever done in Moscow.


It is never easy unravelling Russian Ballet history and I think you needed to do further research to establish your last statement as having some factual basis. I would have thought that Gorsky staged Raymonda something near Petipa's original in which he had appeared at the Maryinsky and that Ivan Khlustin (whose choreographic star had waned by this time and was working at the Bolshoi school) probably re-choreographed Raymonda's part for Adelina Giuri who technically, was no Pierina Legnani who had created role. But then, I may be as right or wrong as you are.

As regards "The Authorised Bolshoi Ballet Book of Raymonda", if you have copied the list of Raymonda productions correctly it contains both an error and an omission.

#10 EricMontreal22

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 04:27 PM

Oh sorry, my tone didn't make it clear that I was just quoting from the book directly, and didn't mean to imply that this was a correct or exhaustive list. There are pictures credited as the first Gorsky production which show Raymonda in a long dress--no tutu whereas I thought she was always in tutu in the original--but I knwo Gorsky did a lot of experimentation with more natural costumes and this could have no connection to choreography changes.

The book was a Russian book (there was a whole series--5 or 6 at least from '87-'89) translated into English, with a lot of text about the original production and the Grigorovich production mainly credited to Grigorovich himself. That said the translation is obviously not done by someone with much familiaryt with English and is in parts laughably bad--and the whole volume is written with both a strong pro Soviet propoganda feel, and emphasis that Grigorovich's production is BY FAR the most brilliant possible--something true of his Sleeping Beauty book too. It's a fascinating read, but between this bias and the poor translations I think there are some factual omissions and errors--probably by accident but I get the sense some might be to downplay the success of earlier productions as well.

As for my thought that it looked like, from this list, that Petipa's was never done--you'e right Gorsky's prodcution, specially the first probably was largely Petipa--I was basing my comment because in the Sleeping Beauty book's list of past productions atthe Bolshoi it first lists:

1 January 17, 1899 - Dec 8, 1902
Choreographer M Petipa
Transfer of the ballet from St Petersburg - A Gorsky

and then

2 December 19, 1904 - January 26-1919
Choreohrapher: A Gorsky

and

3 May 25, 1924 - June 6, 1934
Choreorapher: A Gorsky.

but the Sleeping Beauty list is longer and more detailed than the Raymonda one in general.

#11 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 05:35 PM

1 January 17, 1899 - Dec 8, 1902
Choreographer M Petipa
Transfer of the ballet from St Petersburg - A Gorsky

and then

2 December 19, 1904 - January 26-1919
Choreohrapher: A Gorsky

and

3 May 25, 1924 - June 6, 1934
Choreorapher: A Gorsky.

but the Sleeping Beauty list is longer and more detailed than the Raymonda one in general.


Confusing stuff... :blink:

#12 EricMontreal22

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 05:43 PM

It really is. If there's interest I can type out the whole Sleeping Beauty, Bolshoi performance histroy--but maybe I should move it to the Sleeping Beauty forum (and as was mentioned I have no idea how correct it is, even if this is the "Authorised Bolshoi Book" as the author repeatedly says lol).

#13 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 05:51 PM

It really is. If there's interest I can type out the whole Sleeping Beauty, Bolshoi performance histroy--but maybe I should move it to the Sleeping Beauty forum (and as was mentioned I have no idea how correct it is, even if this is the "Authorised Bolshoi Book" as the author repeatedly says lol).

Do so, please. There's always the possibility of "cleaning up" the info if more accurate sources come out to light...
And hey... :blink:

#14 EricMontreal22

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 06:23 PM

My pleasure--I'm still new here and trying to get the feel of it, but I love being able to talk about all this kinda stuff--it fascinates me. Check shortly in the Sleeping Beauty folder ;)

#15 EricMontreal22

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 01:21 AM

In the same book's text, Grigorovich mentions that a 30s Kirov version by Vainonen made the much more interesting plot change of De Brien being ultimately kinda evil, and Aberakham ultimately sympathetic, but since it didn't really go with Glazunov's music, Grigorovich decided his production would stick and grow from the original storyline. He also mentions that around then the Kirov dropped the White Lady, but how essential he finds her to the ballet's story especailly as she has her own theme in the music (ironic that in the 2003 tightening he's done, her character's been eliminated completely--something I don't like).

Besides dropping the White Lady (boo), the current Kirov version from 1948 is still more faithful than Grigorovich's--although I do admit his decision to have Jean de Brien in the openign scene saying goodbye to Raymonda, and then the seperation between Acts I and II being several months works better drama wise than the Kirov and original, where Jean de Brien doesn't show up till the dream and Aberakham comes in the first scene--and the division between Acts is just overnight.


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