10 July 2014, 15:00

Spartacus - one of Bolshoi’s signature works

Spartacus - one of Bolshoi’s signature works
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When it comes to a ballet that combines physical power and emotion, Aram Khachaturian’s Spartacus is the best example. Since its first appearance at the Bolshoi in 1958, the ballet remains one of the company’s signature works.

Young dancer Mikhail Lobukhin, who stars in the title role, says that Spartacus is not just one of the ballets in his repertoire but a turning point in life…

“Spartacus is a crucial ballet in my career. To dance the part of Spartacus I left the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg and moved to Moscow. Once I saw this ballet at the Bolshoi and was so impressed that decided to try and get this role there. I did a lot to achieve my goal and join the troupe at the Bolshoi,” Mikhail Lobukhin said.

There is hardly any dancer who does not fall for this tragic story of a gladiator who attempted a slave revolt against the Roman Empire. Spartacus was first staged by Leonid Yakobson for the Kirov ballet in 1956. But it was the 1969 production by Yuri Grigorovich that earned international acclaim. For legendary dancer Vladimir Vasiliev, who created the title role in that production, the role of Spartacus also was a landmark moment in his career.

“Spartacus staged by Yuri Grigorovich is one of the few productions in the ballet history that is so intense both in terms of choreography and drama. Apart from Spartacus, there are three other main characters in this ballet- Crassus, Phrygia and Aegina, and all of them are bright and technically and dramatically challenging. That is why nearly all dancers dream of performing these parts,” Mikhail Lobukhin said.

This ballet has long been listed among the greatest hits of classical dance. With its stirring music by Aram Khachaturian, this ballet saga is anticipated by theatre goers worldwide. In Moscow, Spartacus is always a sold-out performance. Despite the fact that a seat in the stalls will cost you more than $350, there is hardly any spare ticket three months prior to the performance! To see this legendary production and enjoy a virtuoso dancing by the Bolshoi ballet stars visit the David Koch Theater in New York on July 25, 26 and 27.



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