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pherank

Raymonda Costume and Wire Headpiece Origin

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pherank   

Does anyone the origins of the Raymonda costume and wire headpiece used by a number of major companies?

I never quite understood if the setting of the ballet was Hungary, or Spain. But I just read that it is set in the Provence region of France, though the Saracen Knight would most likely have been coming from Spain. The name "Raymonda" certainly doesn't sound French or Hungarian - the Internet tells me that the masculine form, Raymond, is derived from an Ancient Germanic name (Raimund). Anyway, The costume designs and wire headpiece are very distinctive but I can't immediately relate them to any ethnic garb. The ballet companies must be sharing the design of this popular costume. Perhaps someone knows more about the design and designer of this costume?

 

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rg   

Doug may well chime in here, as he knows this ballet's history thoroughly and has published about it variously.

Pashkova's libretto has been criticized from the start for its lack depth and logic.

to be sure the intended setting of the narrative is Provence. The Hungarian angle comes is when King Andrei of Hungary returns from the Crusades with Jean de Brienne, where he's then feted at Raymonda's castle with a fete that includes Hungarian music and dances.

as the data encapsulated below indicates Nureyev, whose production the linked photos all seem to indicate, revised his staging and thoughts on RAYMONDA over time. the designer indicated by these photos is Georgiadis, who entered Nureyev's RAYMONDA picture in '72 and has more or less remained in place wherever Nureyev's staging was given thereafter. 

the saracen was likely Pashkova's indication of the "other" side of the Crusades.

as for the headpiece, part diadem, part kokoshnik, my hunch is that it represents Georgiadis's riff on Slavic/Hungarian dress.

 

Raymonda :    Chor: Rudolf Nureyev after Marius Petipa; mus: Aleksandr Glazunov; lib: Rudolf Nureyev after Marius Petipa and Lidiia Pashkova; scen & cos: Beni Montresor. First perf: Italy: Spoleto, Teatro Nuovo, Festival of Two Worlds, July 11, 1964, Royal Ballet, touring section.//First perf by the Australian Ballet: England: Birmingham, Birmingham Theatre, Nov 6, 1965; scen: Ralph Koltai; cos: Nadine Baylis.//First London perf: New Victoria Theatre, Dec 14, 1965, Australian Ballet.//Revised: Switzerland, Zürich, Stadttheater, Jan 22, 1972, Zürich Opera Ballet; lib: new version by Rudolf Nureyev after Marius Petipa and Lidiia Pashkova; scen & cos: Nicholas Georgiadis.//First American Ballet Theatre perf: Houston, Texas, Jones Hall, June 26, 1975; scen & cos: Nicholas Georgiadis; lighting: Nicholas Cernovitch.//First New York perf. by American Ballet Theatre: New York State Theatre, July 1, 1975.

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pherank   
6 hours ago, rg said:

as for the headpiece, part diadem, part kokoshnik, my hunch is that it represents Georgiadis's riff on Slavic/Hungarian dress.

 

scen & cos: Nicholas Georgiadis.

 

Excellent information, RG - thanks so much. I agree that the headpiece is an unusual riff on a kokoshnik: there are essentially two upright layers of what I will term "petal" shapes, with a rather large gap between them - if seen from the side. And there are some oddly placed tiny ornaments on some of these headpieces. The costume patterns look Byzantine to me - not much to remind me of the French Middle Ages. But it sounds like Georgiadis would be responsible for this look, and the costume would have originally been designed for POB productions, and came to be used by the Royal Ballet, ENB and SFB, among others.

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rg   

somewhere in my files i have photo or two of Nureyev's first staging of RAYMONDA in the West, the one noted below, which of course is only Act III, the Grand Pas Hongrois, which was first given at the Royal Ballet with designs by Barry Kay, all in white and gold:

 

Raymonda:    Chor: Rudolf Nureyev after Marius Petipa; mus: Aleksandr Glazunov; scen & cos: Barry Kay. First perf: London, Royal Opera House, July 16, 1966, Royal Ballet.//First U.S. perf: New York, Metropolitan Opera House, May 22, 1969, Royal Ballet.

 

It's possible that Nureyev was so happy with Kay's effort that he directed Georgiadis to work in a similar vein. if mem. serves Fonteyn's headpiece in this '69 staging of the RAYMONDA's final, "Hungarian" scene, was very like that Georgiadis did for the full production once he designed Nureyev's version for Zurich in '72. if i locate my photo i can post a scan, tho' it's a black and white print, i did see this version and can attest to its being a white and gold scheme.

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rg   

attached here is a photo that documents the Barry Kay designs for the first of Nureyev's various RAYMONDA stagings in the West, i.e. the one indicated in the preceding post's credits.

it would seem safe to say that the detailing in Kay's designs influenced the subsequent ones by Georgiadis.

Royal Ballet watchers from this time will notice among the dancers framing Fonteyn and Nureyev at the center, Desmond Doyle?, Jonathan Kelly?, and Deanne Bergsma, seen in fur toques and Monica Mason, (perhaps Anne Jenner) and Laura Connor, wearing wire, kokoshnik-like headpieces. Fonteyn's headwear is a bit more elaborate than those of the other women. the undated photo has credit to Luis Perez.

 

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pherank   
47 minutes ago, rg said:

attached here is a photo that documents the Barry Kay designs for the first of Nureyev's various RAYMONDA stagings in the West, i.e. the one indicated in the preceding post's credits.

it would seem safe to say that the detailing in Kay's designs influenced the subsequent ones by Georgiadis.

Royal Ballet watchers from this time will notice among the dancers framing Fonteyn and Nureyev at the center, Desmond Doyle?, Jonathan Kelly?, and Deanne Bergsma, seen in fur toques and Monica Mason, (perhaps Anne Jenner) and Laura Connor, wearing wire, kokoshnik-like headpieces. Fonteyn's headwear is a bit more elaborate than those of the other women. the undated photo has credit to Luis Perez.

 

 

Wow, isn't that interesting? If this is indeed the first instance of the "Nureyev era" Raymonda costumes, then yes, I think we can credit Barry Kay with the costume design. I can't really make out Fonteyn's headpiece in this particular shot, but the demi-soloists(?) behind her are wearing some type of wire kokoshnik. The patterns on the tutus are very similar to the later ones. I would say the overall effect is definitely Slavic - not reminding me of Provence or Hungary in the slightest.  ;)

Thanks RG!

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Georgiadis' subsequent take on the headpiece was quite different. By then Nureyev preferred a more "Oriental" emphasis.

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What I don't understand is why synopses refer to "King Andrei of Hungary." Why not "András" or "Andrew," to be more general, or even "Andrija," since he was also king of Croatia? "Andrei" strikes me as a lazy transliteration from Russian which seems to overlook the fact that he was a real person, however silly Pashkova's libretto. Of course Jean de Brienne--why not Ivan Briennsky?--was also a real person, although he was never married to a woman named Raymonda.

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rg   

it would seem accurate that with each revised staging by Nureyev of RAYMONDA the designs got altered.

Kay's point, quite possibly, of a Slavic vs. French look, could be understood as his hewing to the theme of the ballet's Pas Classique Hongrois, the center piece of RAYMONDA III, which is the act Nureyev first staged once he left the USSR. this is not to say that these were the first stagings of the ballet outside Russia in the 20th c., Nureyev's Royal Ballet effort was his first. Anatole Oboukov presented a version staged for the Lithuanian Ballet in London in the 1930s, and of course Balanchine did his complete version for Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, with designs by Benois, in 1946. grouping the photos from the links at the top of this thread with those added later attest to the variants Georgiadis seems to have worked for the ballet over the years. If this random selection of several photos of Raymonda III costuming tells us anything it's that Geordiadis tweaked his designs a good deal.

 

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rg   

p.s. it is odd about translating Pashkova's identification of the King into English.

Balanchine's entry in GREAT STORIES says "Andrew II"; Wiley's translation of the full libretto, etc. in A CENTURY OF RUSSIAN BALLET says "Andrei II".

looking back at the photos that are linked at the top of this thread i see that they are likely NOT Georgiadis's work for the 3-act Raymonda but remakes of Kay's designs for Nureyev's stand alone RAYMONDA ACT III.

as they were not captioned i ended up making assumptions that i now see are off the mark. the wire-kokoshnik-styled headpiece seems to be a version of Kay's scheme not Geogiadis's which as the later photos posted here show is rather different from Kay's.

 

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pherank   
5 hours ago, rg said:

p.s. it is odd about translating Pashkova's identification of the King into English.

Balanchine's entry in GREAT STORIES says "Andrew II"; Wiley's translation of the full libretto, etc. in A CENTURY OF RUSSIAN BALLET says "Andrei II".

looking back at the photos that are linked at the top of this thread i see that they are likely NOT Georgiadis's work for the 3-act Raymonda but remakes of Kay's designs for Nureyev's stand alone RAYMONDA ACT III.

as they were not captioned i ended up making assumptions that i now see are off the mark. the wire-kokoshnik-styled headpiece seems to be a version of Kay's scheme not Geogiadis's which as the later photos posted here show is rather different from Kay's.

 

 

The Georgiadis-designed tutu is a stunner, and the headdress is also quite nice. I actually prefer the kokoshnik myself (because I just like the kokoshnik look -  not because it is more appropriate - it is not). The wire kokoshnik must have been a pain to affix and dance with though.

My understanding is that "Andrew" is a correct translation of the Slavic "Andrei" into English. But Andrei would not be the Hungarian name (Andrej? André?)

 

Here's Elisabeth Platel as Raymonda in the Georgiadis costume:

 

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Edited by pherank

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The Hungarian form of Andrew is András. It's been traditional practice to translate the names of monarchs into local languages, so we habitually use forms like Charles and Philip for Spanish kings, or Peter and Nicholas for Russian tsars. Presumably it was for this reason that Hungarian András was translated into Russian as Andrei, although it ought to have been translated into Andrew when the name appeared in English-language ballet programs. Incidentally, I don't know how authoritative it is, but the Russian Wikipedia article on Andrew II of Hungary gives his name as "Andrash II" (in transliteration, of course). No doubt this reflects the modern tendency against translating the names of monarchs, hence we refer to the current King of Spain as Felipe, although it would also be Felip or Filipe in different parts of the country, and Belgium's Philippe/Filip/Philipp also presents a multi-lingual conundrum. (Perhaps translation was a better idea after all?)

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rg   

another photo of Barry Kay's costuming for Nureyev's RAYMONDA ACT III with the Royal Ballet, with Fonteyn and Nureyev in the foreground: Photo credit to Louis Perez - undated but circa 1969? Fonteyn's headpiece is more distinct in this photo.

 

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pherank   
1 hour ago, rg said:

another photo of Barry Kay's costuming for Nureyev's RAYMONDA ACT III with the Royal Ballet, with Fonteyn and Nureyev in the foreground: Photo credit to Louis Perez - undated but circa 1969? Fonteyn's headpiece is more distinct in this photo.

 

 

Thank you, RG - that is definitely the same wire kokoshnik that we see in the later versions.

 

This does make me wonder how companies are acquiring the costume and headpiece design. Or if there is a set of costumes that is constantly being passed among ballet companies. I wouldn't think the original costumes could stand up to all the adjustments needed to get things to fit properly on different dancers.

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rg   

it's possible, one supposes, that the Kay designs are still around, on paper, or that restagings of Nureyev's RAYMONDA III are done with help from the Nureyev Foundation and its photo records of the Kay designs. 

it seems that once Kay died it became unduly complicated for some of this designs to be used. i think his work for Macmillan's 1967 SLEEPING BEAUTY (in Stuttgart), close on the heels of his work for ANASTASIA (for the Royal Ballet) were considered when Macmillan staged BEAUTY for ABT but the task was deemed undoable.

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