This glorious three-act ballet boasts a magical score by Alexander Glazunov, filled with melody, color and grand effects. ACT 1 – Ludmila Semenyaka is magnificent as the youthful, charming Raymonda, niece to the Countess Sybil de Daurice of France. Raymonda is engaged to the gallant knight Jean de Brienne, who is superbly portrayed by Irek Moukhamedov. Because he must immediately depart on a campaign with King Andrei II of Hungary, the youth comes to the castle to bring his fiancée gifts and to bid her farewell. That night as Raymonda muses on her beloved, a statue of the White Lady, patroness of the House of Daurice, appears in a vision. She beckons the girl to the Magic Garden of Dreams, where Jean awaits her. But the apparition suddenly disappears, and in Jean's place there is an unknown, exotic Eastern knight, who makes a passionate declaration of love to the bewildered Raymonda, when she faints, the knight vanishes. As dawn breaks, Raymonda awakens in the belief that her dream has been a terrible omen of her destiny. ACT II – A celebration is underway at the castle. Among the guests is the Saracen knight Abderakhaman, performed by the electrifying Gedeminas Tarands. In him the terrified Raymonda recognizes the mysterious stranger she saw in her dream. Though he promises to give her riches and power in return for her heart and hand, she rejects. Him. Aberakham tries to abduct Raymonda. Unexpectedly however, Jean and the other knights return from their mission. To resolve the differences between Jean and Abderakham, King Andrei proposes a duel of honor. Aberakhman is defeated and Jean reclaims the overjoyed Raymonda. ACT III – Raymonda and Jean are marries at the court of King Andrei. In honor of the monarch, Hungarian dances are performed during the wedding festivities. 146 mins. (1980) DVD-All-Region.
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