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Preface by Lincoln Kirstein

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Roles Performed By Balanchine

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Ballet in Three Acts

Music: By Alexander Glazounov (Op. 57, produced 1898).

Choreography: By George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova after Marius Petipa.

Production: Scenery and costumes by Alexandre Benois. Scenery executed by E. B. Dunkel Studios; costumes executed by Karinska.

Premiere: March 12, 1946, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, City Center of Music and, Drama, New York. Conductor: Ivan Boutnikoff. Violinist: Earle Hummel. Harpist: Marjorie Call.

Cast: Raymonda, Alexandra Danilova; Jean de Brienne, Nicholas Magallanes; Emir Abd-er-Raham, the Saracen Knight, Nikita Talin. ACT I: Raymonda; Brienne; Friends of Raymonda, 3 women; Raymonda's Page; Two Noblemen, Friends of Brienne; The White Lady, Protectress of the Castle, Joy Williams; The Seneschal of the Castle, G. Alexandroff; Peasant Girls, Marie-Jeanne, Gertrude Tyven [Gertrude Svobodina], 8 women; 4 Knights. ACT II: Raymonda; Brienne; Emir; Emir's Favorite Slave, Leon Danielian; Slaves, Pauline Goddard, 4 women, 2 men; 4 Jongleurs; Jongleuses, Marie-Jeanne, 4 women. ACT III: DIVERTISSEMENTS: CZARDAS: Goddard, Stanley Zompakos, 6 couples; PAS DE TROIS: Tyven, Patricia Wilde, Danielian; PAS CLASSIQUE HONGROIS: Danilova, Magallanes; Marie-Jeanne, Ruthanna Boris, Maria Tallchief, Yvonne Chouteau, Herbert Bliss, Talin, Robert Lindgren, Ivan Ivanov (VARIATIONS: I. Tallchief; II. Chouteau; III. 4 men; IV. Marie-Jeanne; V. Boris; VI. Magallanes; VII. Danilova); FINALE: Entire cast.

Note: This version derives from the Petipa original at the Maryinsky as remembered by Balanchine and Danilova, abbreviated and rechoreographed by Balanchine, retaining the Petipa style. The male pas de quatre and the ballerina's variation in Act III (VARIATIONS III and VII of the PAS CLASSIQUE HONGROIS) are particularly close to the Petipa choreography, as set by Danilova. The other female solos in Act III (with the exception of Variation IV, below) are probably close to the Petipa originals as well. Balanchine provided new choreography for several waltzes, and in Act III, the Pas de Trois, Variation VI (male solo), and Variation IV. He and Danilova choreographed the finale together. The original was a full evening's ballet for more than two hundred performers; the Balanchine-Danilova version lasted three-quarters of an evening, omitting much of the Petipa mime, and used the entire Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo company of about forty dancers. Frederic Franklin was scheduled to dance Jean de Brienne on opening night, but was injured. The central pas de deux from the Act III PAS CLASSIQUE HONGROIS, usually called Pas de Deux from Raymonda (and as often credited to Petipa as to Balanchine, who staged the Petipa choreography for Diaghilev in 1925), is frequently performed by a ballerina and cavalier as a concert piece.
In 1955, Balanchine choreographed Pas de Dix [309] for the New York City Ballet, using much of the PAS CLASSIQUE HONGROIS music, but adding a fast finale (coda). The choreography, for the most part new, retained VARIATION III exactly; VARIATION VII (ballerina solo) was retained in essence, although made more brilliant and sultry. In 1973, Balanchine incorporated this version of VARIATION VII into Cortège Hongrois [384], a new work for the New York City Ballet using much of the Pas de Dix music.
In 1961, Balanchine choreographed a completely different work to other selections from the Raymonda score for the New York City Ballet: Valses et Variations [339, retitled Raymonda Variations in 1963].

Archival Video:George Balanchine Foundation Archive of Lost Choreography (VARIATION VI, male solo from Act III), 1998; (VARIATIONS I, II, IV, V, VII, female solos from Act III, with solos from later Balanchine ballets to the same music), 2000.

Revisions: Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo: Numerous small revisions including omission of some Act III VARIATIONS on tour; by September 1946, intermission between Acts I and II eliminated; 1947, White Lady and possibly other mime roles deleted; 1948, Act III given as Divertissements from Raymonda, although complete ballet remained in repertory.

See also: 18   309   339   384  

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