September 28, 2023


Make Some Fun

English Nationwide Ballet’s Raymonda – Dancing Occasions

4 min read

Posted on January 26, 2022

Isaac Hernandez and Shiori Kase in Tamara Rojos Raymonda by English National Ballet © Johan Persson 3

Pictured: Isaac Hernández and Shiori Kase in Raymonda. {Photograph} by Johan Persson.

Tamara Rojo has made an unlimited effort to stage a full-evening manufacturing of Raymonda for English Nationwide Ballet (ENB). It’s her first try at choreography and the primary such manufacturing by an organization from the UK, in case you don’t depend Rudolf Nureyev’s preliminary model, commissioned by the Pageant of Two Worlds in Spoleto and danced there in 1964 by The Royal Ballet’s former Touring Firm.

There have been a number of full stagings of the ballet in Russia – by Alexander Gorsky, Agrippina Vaganova, Konstantin Sergeyev and Yuri Grigorovich. George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova made one for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1946, and Nureyev revised his for American Ballet Theatre and the Paris Opéra Ballet. None of them has lasted, and this one could not both, as a result of meticulous analysis and lofty intentions don’t all the time maintain a creation.

Rojo set herself sufficient challenges to fill a number of ballets. Having “regarded for a context with a connection to British historical past,” she transferred the slim romantic story from the Crusades to the Crimean Conflict. “In fact, probably the most outstanding and influential lady within the Crimean Conflict was Florence Nightingale,” she has stated, so, for relevance, she transformed the countess heroine right into a courageous area nurse, a Victorian feminist with a thoughts of her personal.

To incorporate as a lot of Marius Petipa’s authentic choreography as potential, Rojo requested Doug Fullington, an eminent dance researcher, to mine the Stepanov notations for particulars of the motion and mime. To endow the character dances with veracity, she enlisted Vadim Sirotin, a specialist within the topic who teaches ballet and choreographic disciplines on the Vaganova Academy in St Petersburg.

The remainder she made up herself, together with a dream ballet of nurses bearing lanterns – Nightingale was often called The Girl with the Lamp – and loads of work for the corporate’s males, who develop into British, Turkish and Hungarian by flip. ENB’s glorious conductor, Gavin Sutherland, even places musicians on stage for the marriage scene, heightening its folkloric authenticity with a cimbalom and a hurdy gurdy.

You can study all that and extra by studying the programme however not by watching the ballet, which resembles a cultured array of dances, each classical and character, loosely related by a wispy narrative about two males wooing the identical woman. Other than the navy uniforms, I discovered few indicators of warfare, and just one lady, costumed in white, introduced nursing to thoughts; largely unattended, a number of wounded troopers huddled within the shadows, and the dream nurses might need been ghosts.

Pictures: 1 – English Nationwide Ballet in Raymonda. 2 – Shiori Kase and English Nationwide Ballet. 3 – Jeffrey Cirio as Abdur Rahman. Pictures by Johan Persson.

But you might simply benefit from the efficiency with out understanding which bits of Petipa’s authentic Fullington had restored or how Sutherland had rearranged Glazunov’s rating. Now that the corporate’s males dance so properly, Rojo has taken each alternative to point out off their confidence and ability. On opening night time, Jeffrey Cirio’s dashing Abdur Rahman gained each coronary heart besides Raymonda’s; in a stunning duet, Aitor Arrieta and Fernando Carratalá Coloma stole the lengthy first act; and the male ensemble jumped and beat tirelessly, with actual panache and evident pleasure.

The ladies fared much less properly, assigned extra modest choreography than the boys and supporting it with little in the way in which of characterisation. Sutherland’s painfully gradual tempi drained many variations of vitality and continuity, and Shiori Kase delivered Raymonda’s last solo, minus the commanding handclaps, as if she have been afraid of her personal shadow.

Lecturers might have a area day, and balletomanes will discover echoes of La Bayadère within the nurses’ unearthly ensemble and of John Cranko’s Onegin in Raymonda’s dream sequence. Provided a number of dancing and nothing to confuse them, everybody else will simply have an excellent night time out. Perhaps subsequent time Rojo will undertake Jerome Robbins’ recommendation: “above all,” he wrote to a younger choreographer, “all the time hold it clear to the viewers what the dance is about, and why every part or something is occurring.”


Barbara Newman

Barbara Newman’s books about ballet embody Grace below Stress; The Illustrated Ebook of Ballet Tales for kids; a quantity of interviews, Hanging a Stability, and its follow-up, By no means Removed from Dancing. She has written for Dancing Occasions since 1984 and served because the dance critic for Nation Life from 1990 to 2016. She archives all her work at http://barbaranewmandance.web

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