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Danse orientale de Raymonda


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#31 leonid17

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 01:58 AM

If you can find it, try to find the VAI DVD with Kolpakova in a 1980 live performance. It's the Kirov/Mariinsky version.

This is my favorite performance video of anything.

YouTube doesn't have the complete, but it does have some excerpts from 1976:



Her partner here is Semenov. In the video it's Berezhnoi.

There's also the video excerpt from the DVD, which I missed the first time:



I fell in love with Irina Kolpakhova whilst still at school when the Kirov Ballet visited London for the first time. I was very new to ballet and a new knowledgeable friend of the time convinced me I should see the company and I in turn convinced my mother to fund my visits to amptheatre and the standing room.

As a lover of London's best classical architecture, I found a reflection of such high art classicism in Irina Kolpakhova's
linear crystaline distinctiveness in both the structure and outline of her dancing. Add to that her musicality and nobility it was no wonder Dame Ninette de Valois enthused so much over this ballerina's perfect classicism.

Madame Kolpakhova's classicism seemed other worldly to me and yet here she was appearing among an extraordinary galaxy of star dancers vying for excellence and thrilling audiences and critics alike.

I agree with Helene evaluation and I find Kolpakhova remarkable in this video given she was 43 years of age.

#32 Natalia

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 09:32 AM

Here is how La Scala's recon of the 1898 Raymonda presents the so-called "Raymonda's Oriental Dance": it is not a dance at all! The music, presented in the appropriate spot in the score after the suite of character dances of Abder's retinue, is simply background for a mime passage in which Abder invites Raymonda and the Court of Doris to drink wine, with 24 boys entering from the backstage gate, holding aloft golden goblets (12 of the 24 lads being young corps ladies en travestie). They promenade around the stage with the goblets. C'est tout!

#33 Birdsall

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 09:40 AM

Here is how La Scala's recon of the 1898 Raymonda presents the so-called "Raymonda's Oriental Dance": it is not a dance at all! The music, presented in the appropriate spot in the score after the suite of character dances of Abder's retinue, is simply background for a mime passage in which Abder invites Raymonda and the Court of Doris to drink wine, with 24 boys entering from the backstage gate, holding aloft golden goblets (12 of the 24 lads being young corps ladies en travestie). They promenade around the stage with the goblets. C'est tout!



Natalia, thank you for the report! So the La Scala reconstruction is how it was originally staged (or as close to the original staging and choreography)?

If this is so, I hope they film it for dvd release eventually.

#34 Natalia

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 10:11 AM

Yes it is, Bart. In the souvernir programme, Vikharev's associate, Pavel Gerzhenson, states that Nikolai Sergeyev notated the ballet in 1903, during the revival that starred Preobrazhenskaia in the title role. The revival was supervised by Petipa himself. Gerzhenson and Vikharev also used many other contemporary documents in conjunction with the 'Harvard Notes.' In most instances, whenever there was alternate direction, they tended towards 1898, one big exception being the use of the 1903 'Pavlova version' of the A2 Henriette solo, rather than the version danced by Preobrazhenskaia at the 1898 premiere. (Once Legnani left Petersburg in 1901, the role of Raymonda went to Preo...not to Kchessinskaia, interestingly.)

As mentioned in the main thread for the Raymonda-1898 reports (in the La Scala company forum), the upcoming performance of October 27 with Novikova/Vogel is being telecast LIVE (actually, 'live delay' starting at 9:30pm, Milan time)on RAI5, a premium-digital Italian tv network...and also by RAI5 online! :) There are plans for a DVD but no details on when it may be issued yet; one person told me 'next summer' and another said 'after the October 2012 run.'

Edited on Oct. 20 to correct telecast information.

#35 Natalia

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 02:28 AM

Here is a link to a color photo of the 'stage action' during the 'Raymonda's Oriental Dance' music:

http://www.teatroall...87_zoom_14.html

As you see, Abder is trying to get Ray to drink the wine from the golden goblet. In the background-right you see some of the 'en travestie' pages with goblets to give to the rest of the court. One of the most mysterious characters in the ballet is the creepy guy in the big striped and hooded caftan, directly behind Raymonda in this photo. I don't think he has a stage name but he is always hovering around Abder, waving his arms...sort of a Saracen Repo Man, ready to help Abder capture Raymonda. If somebody can further explain this character in the striped caftan, please do so.

#36 Mel Johnson

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 03:37 AM

In the Kirov's touring production from the '60's, I believe that they called Abderakhman's sidekick "Ali" (which is a good allpurpose Arab name) and he served as someone to "talk" to for Abder, as a device for him to develop his character. He wasn't so flamboyantly dressed as here, and he led off the dances of the Saracens.

#37 Natalia

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 05:14 AM

Thanks, Mel. Ali sounds better than 'The Repo Man'!

#38 Mel Johnson

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 01:01 PM

And even he had two sidekicks to join him in the dances!

#39 Birdsall

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 02:09 PM

Just watched Zakharova's Raymonda (not sure where it was filmed....different than the Mariinsky or Bolshoi or Paris productions). In this version (some slight differences in choreography from other versions) the Danse Orientale is danced by Aberderam as an attempt to get Raymonda to like him. This makes the most sense actually dramatically compared to other versions I have seen (Mariinsky leaves the music out altogether, Bolshoi turns it into a short dance between Aberderham and Raymonda, and the recent La Scala reconstruction uses the music but for miming the story along). I just thought it was interesting. I wonder if the Danse Orientale (right after the Spanish Panderos dance in Act 2) was ever actually choreographed by Petipa even if it was never actually danced in the premiere or even later productions.

Has anyone seen the Nureyev Paris production? Is the Danse Orientale music included in that production, and, if so, who dances or what is going on during the music? I have only seen bits and pieces of the Paris production on YouTube. Supposedly, it is coming out on video one of these days (taped in 2008).

#40 Natalia

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:08 AM

.... recent La Scala reconstruction uses the music but for miming the story along)..... I wonder if the Danse Orientale (right after the Spanish Panderos dance in Act 2) was ever actually choreographed by Petipa .....

Has anyone seen the Nureyev Paris production? Is the Danse Orientale music included in that production, and, if so, who dances or what is going on during the music?...


Hi, Bart Birdsall I'll answer two of your points in order.

1. Petipa - The La Scala *is* the Petipa original. Petipa used the music to move the story along with the "Abderakhman Entourage's" presentation of golden goblets with wine to Raymonda and the Doris court. Just a mimed scene & not a set dance.

2. POB version by Nureyev - the music accompanies one of Abderakhman's modern-looking sexy solos (Nureyev created several such solos for Abder). I believe that Zakharova guest-starred in the POB Raymonda a few years ago. It sounds as if the Zakharova clip that you've watched might be from the POB. The other possibility would be the Tokyo New National Theater Ballet, where Zakharova/Matvienko starred in 2007 and, in fact, made a commercially-available DVD of Maki Asami's version. (If Abderakhman looks Japanese, then that's it!)

#41 Birdsall

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 08:13 AM

Natalia, thanks for the response. Yes, it was the Japanese/Tokyo performance). Thank you also for telling me what actually happens during the POB version of Raymonda. I am hoping the POB dvd will one day come out (taped in 2008). The excerpts on YouTube do not seem to be full or are too difficult to figure out how to play in order since they aren't numbered.
Why I started this topic was that in the Dancer's Dream dvd of Raymonda one of the dancers (I believe it was Elisabeth Platel) says that Nureyev used to tease her that there are 7 variations! He would repeat it all the time to make her nervous as sort of a joke. Well, every version I have seen on video only has 6 variations, so I am wondering what the 7th variation is in the POB version and where it was placed. Maybe when the dvd finally comes out we will find out. Or maybe Platel misspoke and meant 6 variations (that he would tease her she has 6 variations).
When I saw the Dancer's Dream video I counted the variations in all the videos of Raymonda I've watched and never found a 7th variation for Raymonda.
Then, on Wikipedia they originally listed the "Danse Orientale" as a variation for Raymonda that was cut before the original production. This is why the reconstruction does not include it. It was never performed as a variation. Since then the Wikipedia entry for Raymonda has been changed and says something else and no longer lists it as a "cut" variation for Raymonda.
Anyway, before you told me what POB does with the danse orientale music (variation for Abderakhman) I thought maybe Nureyev found the original choreography for the danse orientale (that was never performed even in the original Petipa production) but you cleared that up. It is a dance for Abderakhman in POB.
So my question now is: What is the 7th variation in the POB Raymonda? Where does it occur? Or did Platel misspeak and there are only 6 for Raymonda even in the POB version?
Also, did Petipa ever intend for the Danse orientale to be a variation for Raymonda as Wikipedia used to say and cut it before it was ever performed? If so, could there be notations on how he had intended (but never carried out) how that would have been choreographed? Is there a lost jewel of a variation that is hidden away in some library that was never ever performed (turned into a mime sequence even in the original production)? I guess we'll never know!

#42 Natalia

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 08:30 AM

I have seen the POB-Nureyev Raymonda several times and have the 1980s telecast tape. There are no 'seven variations' for Raymonda; there are six (if we count the Act , sc1I Entree as a variation). Nureyev must have been joking with his ballerinas to make them more nervous.

I would not trust Wikipedia as scientific fact. Posted Image

#43 Birdsall

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:20 AM

Bart, I have seen the POB-Nureyev Raymonda several times and have the 1980s telecast tape. There are no 'seven variations' for Raymonda; there are six (if we count the Act , sc1I Entree as a variation). Nureyev must have been joking with his ballerinas to make them more nervous.

I would not trust Wikipedia as scientific fact. Posted Image


Thank you!!!! I bet Platel (who was interviewed in retirement) misspoke. He probably teased her that there are 6 variations (and, like you, I assume the entree is counted), and she accidentally said 7 when interviewed. Or maybe I misheard (will have to re-watch that documentary again). Or maybe he was exaggerating and teasing and adding a number like you suggest. Anyway you have helped to clear up what I was wondering about.

Yes, I know Wikipedia is not reliable. I am a former school librarian, and it is actually a big NO NO to encourage students to use Wikipedia b/c it can be inaccurate! Not to mention most school districts spend lots of money on online databases with "official" information. LOL I have found Wikipedia useful in personal hobby stuff like ballet and opera for the most part, however. When I want info on a particular ballet it sometimes like the only online source for some of them (for more info than just a synopsis).

But I figured somebody may have come across something about the danse orientale being a variation for Raymonda (since someone posted it on Wikipedia), but more than likely, now that I know there are only 6 variations for Raymonda in every production on the planet now I know the danse orientale was probably never choreographed as a variation for Raymonda. It actually does make more sense for it to be a variation for Abderakhamn at that point in the drama! So it makes sense Nureyev and the Bolshoi version does it like that. Although the Bolshoi seems to do it as almost a very short pdd for Raymonda and Abderakham.

#44 Natalia

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:30 AM

I believe that Florence Clerc also mentioned Nureyev teasing all of the female principals about "7 variations." It sounds like typical Nureyev wicked teasing.

#45 Birdsall

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:32 AM

I believe that Florence Clerc also mentioned Nureyev teasing all of the female principals about "7 variations." It sounds like typical Nureyev wicked teasing.


It does sound sadistic. It probably made them panic, "OMG! I only rehearsed 6! Have I forgotten to learn and rehearse one?" It is a good joke, if you are not on the receiving end of the joke! LOL


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