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Danse orientale de Raymonda


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#16 rg

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 12:31 PM

you might like to read the complete, original libretto.
you can find it in the author's own translation in: A CENTURY OF RUSSIAN BALLET, DOCUMENTS AND ACCOUNTS, 1810 - 1910 by Roland John Wiley (1990, Oxford) and other books as well.
Here's the way the White Lady is first noted:
Act 1, first scene, tableau 2: (after noting that the Countess Sybille "reproaches the [household's] girls for their idleness" the Countess is described thus: "'Take care,' she says to the girls, 'Countess de Doris, famous by the name the White Lady, will punish you for disobedience; do you see this statue? This is our revered ancestor, she appears from the other world to warn the house of Doris every time one of its members is in danger, and punishes those who do not fulfill their responsibilities."
Wiley's section on RAYMONDA goes from p. 392 to 401.

#17 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 01:02 PM

Oh, so then she is both an sculpture and a ghost..! (although she never really materializes in the real world, for which her appearance only occurs in Raymonda's head during her dream, right...?)

#18 rg

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 01:21 PM

all i know is what Countess Sybille says, as the house's "revered ancestor, she appears from the other world to warn the house of Doris every time one of its members is in danger, and punishes those who do not fulfill their responsibilities" as for whether is this a 'real world' appearance or not, i don't know that know the distinction.

#19 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 03:18 PM

... as for whether is this a 'real world' appearance or not, i don't know the distinction.


Oh, I meant the real world during the ballet. I haven't watched the Bolshoi DVD for a while, but I think the White Lady is presented in the ballet just as a sculpture during the non-dream scenes-("real world" in my conception)-and only comes to life during Raymonda's onirism-(unlike Giselle or Myrtha, which even being ghosts can be seen by mortals while awake)

#20 Paul Parish

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:37 PM

Dear Bart Birdsall -- i LOVE Lopatkina's Raymonda and completely agree with you. Alas, we did not get her in Berkeley. the ballerina who made the Hungarian dance so dispiriting was Nioradze.

#21 Paul Parish

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:53 PM

Thanks, helene -- this starts with that courtly pd4 i love so much, and then Raymonda's wonderful scarf variation.

I can't say I'm in love with Kolpakova -- she's too brittle for me. I DO think Raymonda should be delicate -- Semenyaka is beautiful, so is Lopatkina. Besmertnova was very mannered but still beautiful. Plistetskaya also, though she was almost too robust, was glorious as Raymonda. Such SPIRIT she had

What do you think? For every absurdity -- the turned in passe, I DON'T CARE -- there are twenty wonders. I love the way she dances with the scarf, and the clapping solo -- the glorious second position in the arms, the poses on pointe with the standing knee bent; and overall, the portrait of a high-spirited girl. i just love her.

Edited to add -- O I take it back. I had not seen the 1976 video of Kolpakova -- she's astounding.the entrechat-quatres to pointe!!! Among a thousand other perfections -- brilliant facetings. Just STAGGERING. Wonderful Raymonda. The 1980 -- just 4 years later -- is not so wonderful.

#22 doug

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 10:05 PM

The Danse Orientale is not included in the Stepanov notation of Raymonda. My current thought is that it was cut, either by the time of the premiere or shortly after. Also in Act 1 scene 2, the third variation in the dream scene was replaced by a variation taken from Glazunov's Scenes de ballet (the violin solo variation for Raymonda).

#23 Paul Parish

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 11:02 PM

MorePlisetskaya-- much more glamorous, less girlish -- with a romantic golden haze around it.
I love this,


Wonder what you all will think.

#24 Birdsall

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 06:52 AM

The Danse Orientale is not included in the Stepanov notation of Raymonda. My current thought is that it was cut, either by the time of the premiere or shortly after. Also in Act 1 scene 2, the third variation in the dream scene was replaced by a variation taken from Glazunov's Scenes de ballet (the violin solo variation for Raymonda).



On Wikipedia (I know that Wikipedia is not the most reliable source) there is a listing of the structure (dances) in Raymonda, and it does say the Danse orientale de Raymonda was cut before the original performances. The Bolshoi keeps it in, but I think it is done almost like a pdd for Raymonda and Abderakham. I don't know if the ballet world is like the opera world though. I am just learning the ballet world. Most major opera houses now attempt to put in everything they can (full length Boris Godunov including scenes that were cut for the premiere......full 5 act Don Carlos nowadays instead of the traditional 4 acts....they used to always cut the first act where Elisabetta and Carlos meet). So in the opera world there is a tendency to include everything possible....a current trend. It may not stay that way. This is fluid. I am just wondering if the tendency in ballets is to keep traditional cuts or open them back up. I know that all this cutting and alternative dances and different choreography over the years probably created so many versions that it is practically impossible to have a truly complete performance of many classical ballets. Opening up all the cuts and including alternative variations might make each ballet 5 hours long! LOL

#25 Helene

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 08:39 AM

There were a few posts that expand upon the broader topic of reconstructions, and I've moved them to their own thread here:

Reconstructions: Pros, Cons, Why, Impacts

#26 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 06:02 PM

I think I posted this link on another thread about "Raymonda," but it's worth a read. It's called "The Petipa Code," and it has an exhaustive background -- geneology of the real characters included. Wikipedia has a very complete structure of the ballet -- I guess it's complete, I really don't know. Doug is the expert here.

#27 Birdsall

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 07:04 AM

I think I posted this link on another thread about "Raymonda," but it's worth a read. It's called "The Petipa Code," and it has an exhaustive background -- geneology of the real characters included. Wikipedia has a very complete structure of the ballet -- I guess it's complete, I really don't know. Doug is the expert here.



Thanks! I think I found that a while back before I ever joined, b/c when you google Raymonda and info on it, your posting came up, so even before I joined Ballet Alert! I saw your posting and I printed all that out, b/c it is so long! I have it in a file but haven't read it all yet! Thanks for directing us to that info!

#28 Natalia

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:50 AM

I've been thinking a lot about this ballet of late & have checked Russian sources in my personal library + vids/DVDs to try to answer the original poster's questions.

'Raymonda's Danse Orientale' from A2: This was never choreographed by Petipa. However, Nureyev took the music to create a wonderfully slinky solo for Abderakhman, for A2 of the POB version. (We can see that solo in the 'Dancers Dream-Raymonda' DVD.)

'Raymonda's Dream Scene variation': From the very beginning (1898), Petipa inserted Glazunov's Scenes de Ballet valse into the Dream Scene, as Pierina Legnani had requested a solo variation in that scene, which originally was to have had 3 variations by soloists other than the main ballerina. So Petipa removed the chirpy music that Glazunov had written for the 3rd Variation and created a dance for Legnani with the Scenes de Ballet tune. [The cast-away "chirpy Dream Solo #3 music" lives on in Balanchine's 'Raymonda Pas de Dix' as a solo for one of Raymonda's friends. See it on one of the Maria Tallchief VAI DVDs.]

The "Seven Variations" about which Nureyev spoke: Yes, that is a puzzlement...but, having seen the POB telecast, I finally arrived at this guess as to what are the seven solo dances, thinking of the times when Raymonda has isolated moments of solo dancing in the Nureyev version:

1. Act I, sc 1 Entree, picking up roses
2. Act I, sc 1 Pizzicato solo, during the 'Pas d'Ensemble'
3. Act I, sc 1 Scarf solo to harp music, during 'La Romanesque' part with her 4 best friends
4. Act I, sc 2 (Dream Scene) 'Scenes de Ballet solo' following the 2 female soloists' variations
5. Act II 'Pas d'Action' solo
6. Act III 'clapping variation' during Pas Classique Hongroise
7. Act III coda solo portion with slow passes (in some productions, this is stretched-out so long that it appears to be a solo) What else could it be?

Of course, added to the above, Raymonda has two (or more, depending on the production) pdd adagios with Jean de Brienne. It's one of the most technically challenging roles in the classical rep.

#29 Birdsall

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 01:42 PM

The "Seven Variations" about which Nureyev spoke: Yes, that is a puzzlement...but, having seen the POB telecast, I finally arrived at this guess as to what are the seven solo dances, thinking of the times when Raymonda has isolated moments of solo dancing in the Nureyev version:

1. Act I, sc 1 Entree, picking up roses
2. Act I, sc 1 Pizzicato solo, during the 'Pas d'Ensemble'
3. Act I, sc 1 Scarf solo to harp music, during 'La Romanesque' part with her 4 best friends
4. Act I, sc 2 (Dream Scene) 'Scenes de Ballet solo' following the 2 female soloists' variations
5. Act II 'Pas d'Action' solo
6. Act III 'clapping variation' during Pas Classique Hongroise
7. Act III coda solo portion with slow passes (in some productions, this is stretched-out so long that it appears to be a solo) What else could it be?

Of course, added to the above, Raymonda has two (or more, depending on the production) pdd adagios with Jean de Brienne. It's one of the most technically challenging roles in the classical rep.



Natalia, thanks for this thoughtful post. I have noticed on the two Bolshoi versions (Bessmertnova and Semenyaka) the Danse Orientale is kept in and becomes a half solo/half pdd for Raymonda and Abderakham. According to Wikipedia (which is not always accurate) the Danse orientale used to be just a solo for Raymonda. So I think the Bolshoi (if you count that pdd) includes 6 of Raymonda's solos, and I guess the entrance (picking up the roses) would make a 7th. This is all nitpicking on my part, but it intrigues me. The two Mariinsky/Kirov versions I have watched (Lopatkina and Kolpakova) do not include the dance orientale music at all (no solo and no pdd). So in the Kirov/Mariinsky version there are really just 5 variations plus entrance, if I remember correctly.

According to Wikipedia a couple of the variations were omitted from the premiere. So I guess each company will present a slightly different number of variations for Raymonda.

#30 Natalia

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 04:01 AM

...According to Wikipedia (which is not always accurate) the Danse orientale used to be just a solo for Raymonda. ....


Bart, Wikipedia is definitely wrong here, if it cites that. The Danse Orientale of A2 was written by Glazunov but cut by Petipa -- never staged by Petipa -- before the premiere. It should not appear in Vikharev's recon at La Scala, in other words. Neither will the originally-written 'flutes and bells' solo in the A1 'Dream Scene' be staged because there is nothing to reconstruct; instead, Vikharev is staging the soft solo to Scenes de Ballet music that was created for Legnani...the usual solo that we all know. [The 'flutes and bells' music was used by Nureyev as a solo for himself in the 'Dream Scene' in the 1980s POB version. Also, as pointed out above, it was used by Balanchine in Raymonda Variations - variation #6.]


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