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Pas de dix


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#1 Birdsall

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 12:45 PM

I'm hoping someone knows the answer to this. In the Raymonda Pas de Dix (Act 3) it seems to always be performed with 8 couples (16 people) plus Raymonda and Jean de Brienne.

So why is it called a Pas de dix?

#2 bart

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 02:04 PM

Great question, Birdsall. Thanks for raising it. We've had several threads over the years about the confusing performance history of Raymonda, but this question of the "pas de dix" remains a puzzler. I found a 2005 post from Doug Fullington (of Pacific Northwest Ballet) in which he gives a detailed outline of Petipa's 1898 Raymonda. Raymonda, Jean, and 8 couples dance what is called a "Pas Classic Hongrois."

It seems to me that the actual pas de dix may be the earlier portion of the larger Pas Classique Hongrois, before the other couples arrive. The last time I saw this, by Paris Opera Ballet, this was the way it was done. In this pas de dix the 5 couples dance in unison; Jean and Raymonda dance alone; Raymonda is partnered briefly by each of the other 4 men; the 4 men have a variation, as do the women. It is a real "pas de dix," followed by an the arrival of more and more dancers, culminating in the grand finale.

A quick Google reveals that many, many sources on the internet are just repeating the rather opaque Wikipedia article on Raymonda:

Among the ballet's most celebrated passages is the Pas Classique hongrois or Raymonda Pas de dix from the third act, which is often performed independently.


This implies that both terms refer to the same thing, which can't be right.
Posted Image

I'm looking forward to what our experts say.

I know that Balanchine choroegraphed a ballet called Pas de Dix in the 1950s, a grand divertissement which did indeed have only ten dancers: 5 women, 5 men. His 1973 Cortege Hongrois -- "conceived in the late style of Petipa" -- has 2 couples (one classical, one character) assisted by 16 additional couples. Some of this came from Pas de Dix; the rest was Balanchine taking from other parts of Glazunov's score. There is a grand pas de deux at the end, something not found in the current Soviet version.

The thread containing Doug's post on the 1898 Raymonda is here. It's Post #1.
http://balletalert.i...__1#entry161461

#3 Birdsall

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:02 PM

It must be that it was once a Pas de Dix and has been changed over time but the label sticks. Thanks for the link! I will read later!

#4 doug

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:04 AM

From what I know, Pas de Dix was not a term used to describe the third act divert. I've not seen this term in any original Raymonda sources I've worked with. I've always thought Pas de Dix with regard to Raymonda referred to both the Balanchine ballet of the name and also his 1946 staging of the ballet for Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, in which he staged the Grand pas Hongrois for 5 couples.

#5 Birdsall

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:45 AM

From what I know, Pas de Dix was not a term used to describe the third act divert. I've not seen this term in any original Raymonda sources I've worked with. I've always thought Pas de Dix with regard to Raymonda referred to both the Balanchine ballet of the name and also his 1946 staging of the ballet for Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, in which he staged the Grand pas Hongrois for 5 couples.


Oh, maybe that is it! When you look for info about Raymonda it is often referred to as a Pas de dix, but that could be because of what you say, and some people have accidentally called it that nowadays even within the full-length.


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