RAYMONDA


Choreography byAnna-Marie Holmes after Marius Petipa
Conceived and directed by Anna-Marie Holmes and Kevin McKenzie
Music by Alexander Glazunov,adapted by Ormsby Wilkins
Scenery, costumes and set design by Zack Brown
Lighting by Steen Bjarke


World Premiere: (of first production) Imperial Ballet, Maryinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, scenery and costumes by O. Allegri, K. Ivanov and P. Lambin, 1/19/1898
Original Cast: Pierina Legnani (Raymonda), Sergei Legat (Jeanne de Brienne)
ABT Premiere: (of this production by ABT) Jesse H. Jones Hall, Houston, Texas, 6/26/75
Cast: Cynthia Gregory (Raymonda), Rudolf Nureyev (Jean de Brienne), Erik Bruhn (Abdul-Rakhman), Karena Brock (Henriette), Martine van Hamel (Clemance), Charles Ward (Bernard), Clark Tippet (Beranger), Bonnie Mathis (Sybille de Doris), William Carter (King of Burgandy), Jolinda Menendez, John Prinz (Saracen Couple), Hilda Morales, Dennis Wayne (Spanish Couple)

This production of the full-length Raymonda was given its World Premiere on May 10, 2003 by the Finnish National Opera at the Opera House, Helsinki, Finland, danced by Minna Tervamäki (Raymonda), Nicholas Ziegler (Jean de Brienne) and Dario Franconi (Abderakhman).

Raymonda (Grand Pas Classique), a portion of this new full-length production was given a preview during America Ballet Theatre’s Fall season at City Center, New York on October 23, 2003, danced by Paloma Herrera (Raymonda) and Jose Manuel Carreño (Jean de Brienne).

This full-length production of Raymonda received its United States Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on May 21, 2004 at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, danced by Irina Dvorovenko (Raymonda), Maxim Beloserkovsky (Jean de Brienne) and Marcelo Gomes (Abderrakhman).

A previous production of the full-length Raymonda, with choreography by Marius Petipa, restaged and additional choreography by Rudolf Nureyev and scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis, was given its premiere by American Ballet Theatre at the Jesse H. Jones Hall in Houston, Texas on June 26, 1975. The dancers were Cynthia Gregory (Raymonda), Rudolf Nureyev (Jean de Brienne) and Eric Bruhn (Abderakhman).

Additional productions of divertissements from Raymonda have also been given by ABT. They are:
Raymonda (Divertissements from Act II and Act III), with choreography by Marius Petipa, staged by Mikhail Baryshnikov and scenery and costumes by Santo Loquasto, received its world premiere at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. C. on December 11, 1980, danced by Martine van Hamel (Raymonda) and Alexander Godunov (Jean de Brienne).
Raymonda (Grand Pas Classique), staged by Baryshnikov, after Petipa with costumes by Barbara Matera and furs by Ben Kahn, which received its world premiere at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, California on December 1, 1987, danced by Martine van Hamel and Ross Stretton. On June 14, 1988, this production was re-titled Raymonda (Grand Pas Hongrois) and performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. C. and danced by Martine van Hamel and Kevin McKenzie.
Raymonda, Act III, choreography by Fernando Bujones, after Petipa, which was given its premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on May 30, 1991, danced by Susan Jaffe and Ricardo Bustamante.



Act 1:
Palace Courtyard: It is Raymonda’s birthday and the seneschal is planning the celebration. The party is being held at the palace of the noble family of Count de Doris where the young friends of Raymonda, only child to the Doris’s wealth, have already arrived and are enjoying themselves dancing, fencing and playing musical instruments.

Countess Sybille arrives at the party followed by Jean de Brienne, a handsome young suitor of Raymonda. The countess reproaches the company for their idleness but no one heeds her. The countess points out the statue of the White Lady, an ancestor who is reputed to cast punishment on those unfaithful to the family traditions. The young people mock the superstitious countess and dance around her. More guests arrive and finally the beautiful Raymonda enters picking up flowers that her friends have strewn for her. Many gifts are brought for Raymonda’s birthday and laid at the feet of the White Lady.

An unexpected visitor is announced. It is Abderakhman, a Saracen Knight. He has heard of Raymonda’s beauty and offers her rich presents and a beautiful necklace for her birthday. The family welcomes Abderakhman and tells him to lie the presents at the feet of the White Lady, by family tradition. The Saracen Knight can only see and hear Raymonda and pays no attention to their advice. All the guests dance and enjoy the birthday celebration. Raymonda dances with Jean de Brienne and Abderakhman, the Saracen Knight. There is obvious tension between the two men as they try to win Raymonda’s attention. All the guests depart except Raymonda and a few friends. Raymonda admires the scarf from Jean de Brienne and necklace from Abderakhman. Finally, exhausted by the day, she falls asleep.

A Shady Garden – Dream Vision
Suddenly a magic torpor comes over and Raymonda opens her eyes and looks with astonishment as the White Lady appears. Illuminated by moonlight, she beckons Raymonda to follow her. Obedient to some mysterious power, Raymonda follows the White Lady as in a dream. The mist in the garden disperses, revealing the figure of Jean de Brienne. They dance when suddenly Jean de Brienne disappears and Raymonda comes face to face with the vision of Abderakhman, the Saracen Knight. He declares his admiration for her and they dance. As Raymonda becomes tired, she tries to stop Abderakhman but he becomes more and more adamant in his pursuit of her. The White Lady separates them. The apparitions disappear and Raymonda faints. Dawn comes and the rays of the day replace the moonlight. Raymonda awakens and looks again upon the gifts from her suitors. Who will she choose?

Act 2:
Palace
:
Jean de Brienne and Abderakhman are rivals for the hand of Raymonda. The Saracen Knight offers an exotic Spanish dance to entertain Raymonda. It is obvious that both men are trying to win the favor of Raymonda. She dances with them both and chooses Jean de Brienne. Abderakhman is furious and leaves in a rage. The party continues and Raymonda and Jean de Brienne are to be married when Abderakhman returns and challenges Jean de Brienne to a duel. Jean de Brienne wounds Abderakhman who is rushed away by his entourage. Everyone congratulates Jean de Brienne on his courage and Raymonda and Jean de Brienne are happily reunited.



Copyright 2003 Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc.
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