Raymonda, which premiered in 1898 at Saint Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre to Alexander Glazunov’s scintillating score, was Marius Petipa’s quintessential narrative ballet. A genuine medieval fantasy today regarded as an encyclopaedia of classical dance forms, the work depicts the love story of the young Raymonda and the knight Jean de Brienne in the face of the covetous desires of the Saracen chief Abderam. Long unknown outside Russia, the ballet was staged several times by Rudolf Nureyev after he defected to the West. The choreographer gave it his final touch in 1983 when he became Director of the Paris Opera Ballet. Associating it with Nicholas Georgiadis’s sumptuous sets and costumes, Nureyev recreated all the Eastern charm of a romantic fresco to a backdrop of the mythicized echoes of the crusades.
Ballet in three acts - Sujet de Lydie Paschkoff and Marius Petipa