**** Excellent *** Good ** Fair * Poor : VIDEOCASSETTES

Compiled by Terry Atkinson

"Raymonda." Kultur. $39.95. Romantic rivalry between European and Arab warriors in the age of chivalry inspired the slender plot of Marius Petipa's 1898 three-act ballet to music by Glazunov. Taped in Moscow, this Bolshoi Ballet production (centerpiece of the company's 1987 U.S. tour) features an ideal cast: the radiant and stylish Ludmila Semenyaka in the title role, the soulful and heroic Irek Mukhamedov as Jean de Brienne, the fiery and charismatic Gedeminas Taranda as the love-struck Saracen. (Taranda's photo appeared on posters and souvenir programs for the '87 tour but, at the last moment, he was not allowed to leave the Soviet Union--our loss.) Count on glorious dancing from these three, but also, alas, expect clumsy camera-work, feeble sound, endless curtain-call footage after every act and highly limited visibility during parts of the blue-and-white Act 1 dream scene. Information: (800) 458-5887. ***

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