Music by Alexander Glazounov
Staged by Anna-Marie Holmes after Marius Petipa
Costumes by Barbara Matera
Furs by Ben Kahn
Lighting by Brad Fields
These divertissements are from the full-length Raymonda, in which Raymonda, betrothed to the heroic Jean, has been abducted by an evil Saracen and is rescued by her fiancé.
Although the complete ballet Raymonda has never enjoyed the success or popularity of the other great 19th century classics, divertissements have been performed throughout the world, and represent some of Marius Petipa’s greatest choreography. The evocative and richly-orchestrated score by Alexander Glazounov is considered one of the finest ballet scores extant.
Raymonda received its World Premiere at the Maryinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on January 19, 1898 (New Style) at a benefit performance for the Italian ballerina Pierina Legnani who created the role of Raymonda.
A complete production of Raymonda, with choreography by Marius Petipa and restaged with additional choreography by Rudolf Nureyev, scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting by Nicholas Cernovitch, was given its World Premiere by American Ballet Theatre at Jones Hall in Houston, Texas on June 26, 1975, danced by Cynthia Gregory (Raymonda), Rudolf Nureyev (Jean de Brienne) and Erik Bruhn (Abderachman). This production received its New York Premiere at the New York State Theater on July 1, 1975, danced by the same cast.
Raymonda (Divertissements from Act II and Act III), with choreography by Marius Petipa and staged by Mikhail Baryshnikov, received its American Ballet Theatre premiere in Washington, D. C. at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on December 11, 1980. The leading dancers were Martine van Hamel, Alexander Godunov, Magali Messac, Kevin McKenzie, Ruth Mayer and Frank Smith.
Raymonda (Grand Pas Classique), staged by Mikhail Baryshnikov, after the original Marius Petipa choreography, incorporated the grand pas de dix from Act III, as well as several ballerina variations from the other acts of the full-length Raymonda. Baryshnikov also arranged an original finale. The entirely new costumes were inspired by the original designs for the Imperial Theatre (Maryinsky) in St. Petersburg, where Raymonda was first produced in 1898.
This staging, with the title Raymonda (Grand Pas Classique), received it's first performance at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, California on December 1, 1987, danced by Martine van Hamel and Ross Stretton. Retitled Raymonda (Grand Pas Hongrois), this production was performed on June 14, 1988 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. C., danced by Martine van Hamel and Kevin McKenzie.
A production of Raymonda, Act III with choreography by Fernando Bujones, after Marius Petitpa was given its first performance at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on May 30,1991, danced by Susan Jaffe and Ricardo Bustamante.
This new staging of Raymonda (Grand Pas Classique) was given it's American Ballet Theatre Company Premiere at City Center, New York on October 23, 2003, danced by Paloma Herrera and Jose Manuel Carreño. It was re-titled Raymonda (Divertissements)when the Company appeared in Washington, D. C. in February 2004.