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Favorite variation


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#1 Birdsall

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 05:38 PM

Is everyone's favorite Raymonda variation the final Hungarian dance with the clapping? It is a show stopper, I think. I like them all though. I love one of the variations of one of her friends either Clemence or Henriette in Act 2. I will have to find out which one it is. YouTube has Dorothee Gilbert dancing this particular variation, and it is lovely!

#2 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:38 PM

My favorite moment in Raymonda is the Adagio frm the final act Grand Pas. I've had the hunting oboe melody for days and days after watching it...!



#3 Birdsall

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 06:16 AM

Yes, I love the entire final act. This is quite beautiful. I could watch Raymonda everyday. I don't know why I like it better than most ballets. I love Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, etc. but for some reason I love Raymonda. I wish it were performed more often in the US!!! It looks like I will one day have to fly to Russia or Paris to see the full length ballet!

#4 Helene

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 09:51 AM

I'd choose Russia over Paris, if it's feasible: Nureyev's version for POB has his choreographic "improvements". If you can get it, there's DVD documentary on "Raymonda" in the "Dancer's Dream" series that will give you a better idea. For me, just to see Claude de Vulpain's dancing made the DVD worthwhile: I loved her in it.

The version that Gilbert dances on the YouTube clip is different than the versions in the Kirov and Bolshoi DVD's; both are productions danced in 1989 (Bolshoi with Bessmertnova) and 1980 (Kirov with Kolpakova). According to Wikipedia, Kolpakova was born in either 1933 or 1935, which would make her either 44-45 or 46-7 when she danced that performance with all of those variations and pas de deux. Bessmertnova was born in 1941, and she would have been 47-8 when she danced the live Bolshoi performance, which has even more choreography.

#5 Birdsall

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 12:01 PM

Thanks, Helene! I agree! I think Russia would be the best place to see Raymonda. However, there is a grandiosity about Nureyev's Paris Raymonda judging from the clips on YouTube and also the documentary on his Raymonda (yes, I actually do have that and watched it). So even if Nureyev's Raymonda is not as authentic, it probably is fun to see anyway. Supposedly, he includes 7 variations for Raymonda. The documentary shows dancers saying how he would tease them, "You have 7 variations!!!" in a joking but almost sadistic way! LOL So I hope the dvd of the Paris Raymonda comes out eventually, so I can count and see how he comes up with 7 variations. I think it is only possible if the Danse orientale is kept in and Raymonda's entrance is counted as a variation.

#6 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 12:10 PM

The Bolshoi DVD is one of my favorite ones. Bessmertnova has that "grandeur" that makes her completely believable in her princess role, and her footwork is precious. The only problem with her is that, just as with many other cases of star ballerinas, she totally opaques younger Vasyuchenko. On the other hand, Taranda is just MAGNIFICENT as Abderrakhan.

#7 MakarovaFan

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 04:35 PM

The Bolshoi DVD is one of my favorite ones. Bessmertnova has that "grandeur" that makes her completely believable in her princess role, and her footwork is precious. The only problem with her is that, just as with many other cases of star ballerinas, she totally opaques younger Vasyuchenko. On the other hand, Taranda is just MAGNIFICENT as Abderrakhan.


I wholeheartedly agree with all you say, Cristian. My favorite Bessmertnova moment is her exquisite interpretation of the scarf solo. Great chemistry with Taranda too.

#8 Helene

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 04:43 PM

I always liked Vasyuchenko with Bessmertnova in this and other ballets. Taranda is the bomb.

#9 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 06:02 PM

Taranda is the bomb.

Wow, Helene...I LOVED that...! :D

#10 Birdsall

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 06:43 AM

I am glad to hear everyone's comments, b/c I was hesitant to buy Bessmertnova's Raymonda (Amazon has the dvd) b/c one of the reviews on Amazon says she is past her prime. But I trust what you guys say more than somebody on Amazon!

Now I want to buy the Kolpakova and the Bessmertnova Raymondas.

#11 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 06:47 AM

Bessmertnova is certainly past her prime, but she is just lovely to watch-(but again, this could be me and my personal taste for ballerinas who have reached certain maturity onstage that can only be achieved with age...)

And now...Mme. Bessmertnova's Raymonda-(the whole ballet. 2H. 15 m.) :clapping:



#12 Helene

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 12:03 PM

Both Bessmertnova and Kolpakova are past their prime, but they're both competing against their younger selves, and you can't buy that kind of expression. I also love, love, love the Mariinsky version.

I think it's always good to own as many version of a favorite ballet as possible. I managed, through a post of naomikoge's, to purchase the New National Ballet of Tokyo in the ballet on the Japanese amazon site. The guests are Svetlana Zakharova as Raymonda and Denis Matvienko as Jean de Brienne. Asami Maki is the choreographer.

I love this DVD for the costumes alone, and the woman who portrays the Queen is stunning.

#13 Birdsall

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 06:51 AM

Both Bessmertnova and Kolpakova are past their prime, but they're both competing against their younger selves, and you can't buy that kind of expression. I also love, love, love the Mariinsky version.

I think it's always good to own as many version of a favorite ballet as possible. I managed, through a post of naomikoge's, to purchase the New National Ballet of Tokyo in the ballet on the Japanese amazon site. The guests are Svetlana Zakharova as Raymonda and Denis Matvienko as Jean de Brienne. Asami Maki is the choreographer.

I love this DVD for the costumes alone, and the woman who portrays the Queen is stunning.




Great tip! I will look for it!

#14 Natalia

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:00 AM

My favorite Raymonda variation is the Act I solo with the chiffon scarf (to predominantly harp orchestration), particularly when a dancer can perform the shifts in orientation without quivering. If done smoothly, it can be pure poetry. Semenyaka does it best, IMO, among the various Raymondas on vid/DVD. Among those I've seen live, Alexandrova of the Bolshoi and, especially, Makhalina of the MT (yes, Makhalina) danced it most exquisitely. Also, a recent Russian TV-KULTURA program showed excerpts of Terioshkina's Raymonda, in which she performed the scarf variation steadily & poetically but, of course, there's nothing like seeing it live.


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