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Is Raymonda copyrighted?


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Hey quick question...

I'm looking for some information on the copyrights for performing Ballet variations? I'm going to be doing a variation from Raymonda in the spring and I'm wondering because it's so old if anyone still holds the copyright to either the music or the choreography. Also because I've learned the most recent Russian version and I'm worried that its copyrighted. Or where maybe I would find that information? Thanks

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This is a big can, full of many worms. Without knowing more about where you got your "most recent Russian version," I can't say anything specifically, but although the music and the original choreography would be within the realm of public domain in the US, that doesn't mean that your particular situation is also copyright-free.

Some basic questions: Are you being paid to perform? Are people paying to see you? Are you performing in a school-sponsored event? Where did you learn this particular variation? Are you performing with live music, or if this is a recording, where did it come from?

If you're not being paid, and this is a relatively low-key, recital-like event, you'll likely not catch any trouble. (that doesn't mean that what you're doing is legal, it just means that you're not a big enough fish to make an example of) But it is entirely possible that someone does hold the rights to the version you're dancing, and/or to the musical performance you're using (if recorded). And of the two, the music recording rights-holders (ASCAP and their colleagues) are by far the most vigilant about use.

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