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Balanchine's Raymonda ballets


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In addition his nearly-full-length Raymonda in 1946, Balanchine choreographed three more ballets to music from Raymonda.

PAS DE DIX was choreographed in 1955 for a principal couple and 4 supporting couples. This is essentially the "Pas Classique Hongrois" from Act III. The choreography is a mixture of Petipa and Balanchine. Nearly every number was "refreshed" by Balanchine and several of them are completely Balanchine.

RAYMONDA VARIATIONS (originally, Valses et Variations) was made in 1961. Most of the music is from the Act I, Scene 2 vision scene. Roles include a principal couple and 12 corps women. Comparing Balanchine's choreography to the notated Raymonda, I find that all of the material in Raymonda Variations is new Balanchine, although he does quote Petipa in the opening steps of the harp variation, sans scarf.

CORTEGE HONGROIS was choreographed in 1973 for Melissa Hayden's retirement from NYCB. It is essentially Act III, with a pas de deux from the Act II pas d'action and the Waltz from Act I, Scene 1. Roles include a principal classical couple, principal character couple, 8 classical couples and 8 character couples. I believe this ballet is very important in Balanchine's output for two reasons. First, Balanchine quoted Petipa often, but frequently set Petipa's steps to different music than originally set by Petipa (for example, Raymonda's famous accelerating passes). Second, Balanchine rechoregraphed the Czardas, so we have an extended example of character Balanchine.

[ March 21, 2002, 03:12 PM: Message edited by: doug ]

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