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Ballet & Dance

Raymonda - English National Ballet

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A modern take on a classical ballet

When Raymonda made its world premiere in 1898 at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, it was a grand spectacle. Featuring classical choreography by French ballet master Marius Petipa and a magnificent score by Russian composer Alexander Glazunov, the plot followed a beautiful young countess named Raymonda in medieval Europe. While waiting for the return of her beloved, a devious Saracen knight arrived and set his sights on her. During the ballet, the mysterious White Lady tried to warn Raymonda of his intentions and she was ultimately saved from abduction by her heroic fiancé, a noble knight of the Crusades.

Consisting of three acts and four scenes, the original Raymonda is rarely performed in its entirety in the UK. However, the English National Ballet announced the world premiere of a new version of Raymonda for January 2022.

The production is helmed by Tamara Rojo, who has had a distinguished career as a dancer and artistic director. In making her debut as a director and choreographer, Raymonda has been updated with a dramatic new storyline about a heroine in charge of her own destiny that takes inspiration from the spirit of Florence Nightingale and the women who supported the war effort in Crimea.

All about love and courage in a time of war, the plot of Rojo’s adaptation is set in England in 1854. Raymonda leaves her comfortable life in order to become a nurse in the Crimean War. While on the front, she falls in love with a soldier named John and gets engaged to him, but also develops feelings for his friend Abdur, a leader in the Ottoman army. With conflict brewing all around and inside her, to whom will Raymonda give her heart?

FAQS

The English National Ballet announced the world premiere of an adaptation of the original Raymonda while keeping its sensuous score and classical choreography from 13 – 23 January 2022.

Raymonda will be performed in early 2022 at the London Coliseum.

The age guidance is 10+ because Raymonda contains sensitive themes being set during a war, with scenes taking place at the front.

Tickets for the English National Ballet's Raymonda performance dates are on sale now.