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The Stars of the White Nights 2018
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05 July 2016 (Tue), 19:00 World famous Mariinsky Ballet and Opera - established 1783 - Stars of the Stars Classical Ballet Alexander Glazunov "Raymonda" (Ballet in three acts) Tickets available only at BalletAndOpera.com

Running time: 3 hours 15 minutes (till 22:15)

The performance has 2 intermissions

Schedule for Alexander Glazunov "Raymonda" (Ballet in three acts) 2017/2018

Conductor: Boris Gruzin
Dancer: Konstantin Zverev
Dancer: Xander Parish
Dancer: Oxana Skorik
Dancer: Sofia Ivanova-Skoblikova

Composer: Alexander Glazunov
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Composer: Alexander Glazunov
Set Designer: Simon Virsaladze
Choreography: Konstantin Sergeyev

Orchestra: Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra
Ballet company: Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet

Classical Ballet in 3 acts

World premiere: 7 January 1898, Mariinsky Theatre
Premiere in Russia: 30 April 1948 Kirov Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Leningrad
Premiere of this production: 30 April 1948, Kirov Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Leningrad, USSR

Marius Petipa created Raymonda when he was in his eightieth year, and it was one of his late grand ballets. Its simple story, based on a medieval chivalrous legend, brought together everything that was the best of the best that Petipa had done in the course of his long career as a choreographer in Russia. Here there is a ballet and detective plot including dreams, kidnappings and joyous releases, a complex and varied ballerina role and a conflict between the male roles – the refined and classical Jean de Brienne and the passionate and pointedly typical oriental Abderakhman, the vast number of characters, meaning a similar number of dancers engaged in the ballet, the colourful character dances and, arguably, Petipa's main pride and glory – the fully-developed dance scenes of classical ensembles. The composer, on the other hand, began his ballet career with Raymonda. The production was staged when Alexander Glazunov was in his thirty-third year. In this work the composer, new to the ballet genre, so ardently used his experience as a symphonist and maestro of vivid and colourful orchestral music that his subsequent dance works (The Trial of Damis and The Seasons) never cast a shadow over the glory of Raymonda, and it is this ballet that remains in history as perhaps Glazunov's most famous work. Its conflict is based on the contrast of two different worlds: the serene and knightly noble idyll of Raymonda's medieval castle meets the Barbarian world of ungovernable passions embodied by Abderakhman and his suite. The choreographer resolved the musical contrast by juxtaposing the expressive nature of Abderakhman's gestures, the temperamental character dances of his suite and the classical dance of Raymonda's world. The role of Raymonda is one of the most demanding in the classical ballet repertoire. In this masterpiece by Marius Petipa, the ballerina performs five variations as well as incredibly beautiful adagios, the Pas d’action and the Grand pas. Alexander Glazunov did not stint in the musical richness of the female protagonist, accentuating each of her variations with different emotional colours. Choreographically, too, she reveals new sides to her character in the solo variations. In Act I Raymonda is light-heartedly youthful, in the scene The Dream her variation is songfully dreamy, in Act II she is ceremonially triumphant, and in Act III she alone is coquettish and different, performed to piano solo, meditative. Together this all creates the image of a heroine who embodies the many facets of womanhood. That's on the one hand. And, on the other, it is a role that showcases a virtuoso ballerina fully armed with universal technique and grace, beauty of line and absolute skill, a ballerina the likes of whom Marius Petipa sought throughout his creative career and an anthem for whom was to be his "swan song", Raymonda. Olga Makarova

Set and costume design: Simon Virsaladze

World premiere: 7 January 1898, Mariinsky Theatre
Premiere of Konstantin Sergeyev`s version: 30 April 1948, Kirov Theatre, Leningrad

Raymonda is a ballet, originally staged in 3 Acts-4 Scenes with Apotheosis, choreographed by Marius Petipa to the music of Alexander Glazunov (his 57th opus). First presented by the Imperial Ballet at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre on January 7/19 , 1898 (Julian/Gregorian calendar dates) in St. Petersburg, Russia. The ballet is famous for its Grand Pas Classique known as the Grand Pas Classique Hongrois or Raymonda Pas de Dix from the third Act, which is often extracted from the full-length work to be performed independently.

The full-length Raymonda has been revived many times throughout its performance history, the most noted productions being staged by Mikhail Fokine for the Ballet Russe (1909); Anna Pavlova for her touring company (1914); George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (1946); Konstantin Sergeyev for the Kirov Ballet (1948); Rudolf Nureyev for American Ballet Theatre (1975), and for the Paris Opera Ballet (1983); Yuri Grigorovich for the Bolshoi Ballet (1984); Anna-Marie Holmes (in a 2-act redaction) for the Finnish National Ballet (2004), a version which was then staged for American Ballet Theatre (2004) and the Dutch National Ballet (2005).




Synopsis

Act I

Scene I 
Everybody is awaiting Raymonda as is Jean, who wants to present her with a silk shawl as a farewell gift. Raymonda’s first solo immediately shows her as an exquisite young woman whose path is strewn with flowers. When Jean puts the shawl around her shoulders she seems to sense the symbolic power of this gift of love. Yet she also painfully senses that Jean’s feelings for her have no real depth, that he will leave her easily for his world of knightly fights, tournaments and crusades. The guests try to cheer Raymonda up with a grand valse and can even persuade her to dance a solo by which she tries to overcome her melancholy mood.

Quite unexpectedly a new guest bursts in on the court: the Saracen prince Abderakhman. He tries to overwhelm Raymonda with presents which she refuses. However, at long last – deeply fascinated by the sensual power of the prince, - she accepts the gesture when Abderakhman presents her with a spray of jasmine.

The festivities are ending, but Raymonda is hypnotized, bewildered by the sudden intrusion of an erotic elemental force upon her seemingly secure happiness with Jean. Clémence, Henriette and the two troubadours try to cheer her up. And in a dance with Jean’s shawl Raymonda tries to reassure herself of her love for him.

She takes leave of her friends and falls asleep. Entranced by the sweet scent of the jasmine that seems to embody an erotic oriental world, her shoulders wrapped in Jean’s shawl, the symbol of the perfect elegance of the court, she begins to dream.

Scene II 
The White Lady leads Raymonda into an unknown world, beyond all material reality. Raymonda falls under the spell of the dance of a group of fairytale girls that finally leads her to a magic reunion with Jean in an adage. At the climax of the dream which follows the formal structure of classical ballet with the adage followed by variations for Clémence, Henriette, the White Lady and Raymonda herself, as well as a coda where Jean can demonstrate his virile strength – Raymonda suddenly sees the Saracen prince Abderakhman in the place of Jean and is overwhelmed by his fascination, his seductive power and blunt erotic attack. Only the intervention of the White Lady averts the extreme. Raymonda awakens in deep confusion, with the shawl and the jasmine spray in her hands.

Act II

Scene I 
The court society assembles for a festivity called “La Cour d’amour”, a popular pastime of the aristocracy in the South of France, at which troubadours court elegant ladies according to strict rules of etiquette. Jean de Brienne, busy with preparations for the crusade, is delayed and instead, Abderakhman appears. Raymonda is dismayed and delighted at the same time. They dance together and he observes the exquisite rules of the courtly festivity with perfect politeness. His entourage entertains the society with exotic dances ending in a bacchanale. At its climax, in a fury of passionate love, Abderakhman commands the abduction of Raymonda.

At this moment Jean de Brienne and King Andreas II appear. The king urges the two men to decide their rivalry, as befits knightly rules, in a duel. This seems to end in a draw until the White Lady appears and gives Jean the strength to inflict a deadly wound on Abkerakhman. The Saracen dies at Raymonda’s feet. She is deeply distressed and can only see Jean as Abderakhman’s murderer.

Jean senses Raymonda’s predicament, her repulse. Again he begins to court her and for the first time really endeavours to win her love. He succeeds in winning back her confidence.

Scene II 
The wedding ceremony confirms the love between Raymonda and Jean de Brienne. In honour of the Hungarian King Andreas II the courtiers are dressed in Hungarian style, dance the czardas and finally the grand pas classique hongrois. It begins with a great adage for nine couples led by Raymonda and Jean. This is followed by variations for four men (Béranger, Bernard and two other troubadours), for two ladies (Clémence and Henriette), for Jean and finally for Raymonda. Her solo expresses her strength of character and secret melancholy of conquered pain. The coda leads to an apotheosis and the blessing by the White Lady.

Provided by Wikipedia Raymonda




Schedule for Alexander Glazunov "Raymonda" (Ballet in three acts) 2017/2018


"Raymonda" Mariinsky Ballet / Anastasia Nikitina
 
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