20 October 2011


Spartak Спартак
chor. Yuri Grigorovich (1968)

Bolshoi Ballet, in Paris (2008)
with Carlos Acosta, Aleksandr Volchkov, Nina Kaptsova, Maria Allash
Decca DVD (2009)

A legacy ballet of the Soviet era, Spartacus survives as a signature piece of the Bolshoi Ballet, a work of heroic proportions and artistic demands.The courageous but hopeless struggle of slaves against their imperial Roman masters takes on allegorical life on stage. It represents an unending challenge regardless of odds.

The present choreography, dating from 1968 now classic, communicates the message on a grand scale without losing the human dimension, a progression of scenes building logically to a tragic climax.

Carlos Acosta is admirable in the 2008 performance, but so too is Aleksandr Volchkov in the demanding role of Roman tyrant, Crassus. While women have significant roles, the ballet is primarily for men. In an interview on the Decca DVD Carlos Acosta cited Spartacus as the perfect role for him, and culmination of his career.