Artistic Director and Lead Principal Dancer of English National Ballet
A RENOVATED AND FLASHING VERSION OF RAYMONDA
In January 2022, the English National Ballet presented a new version of Raymonda ballet choreographed by Tamara Rojo at the London Coliseum. Contrary to the original version of Marius Petipa that placed the plot in The Crusades, Rojo has relocated the story to the 19th-century Crimean War, drawing on the figure of Florence Nightingale to create a Raymonda who redefines the role of women in wartime and society. This Raymonda is not content to stay at home and sew, so she hot-foots it from England across the Black Sea to Sevastopol. There, she tends to injured soldiers, and is reacquainted with John de Bryan, a family friend, who has joined the Light Brigade. As he leaves for battle, he persuades Raymonda to accept his hand in marriage. His friend, Abdur Rhaman, an ally from the Ottoman army, promises to take care of Raymonda until de Bryan returns.