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Spartacus


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#16 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 02:15 PM

Not entirely sure yet whether I will go to tomorrow's performance; I'll see.

Today's was very impressive in my opinion, but then it was my very first Spartacus, so that could kind of influence my opinion..
Yegor Khromushin did a fine job as Spartacus, his jumps were good, but on practically every pirouette he did, he almost lost his balance when he got to the 4th or 5th turn.. Whereas Crassus (Vladimir Neporozhny)'s turns were all perfectly executed, but his jumps weren't so impressive. Still, he did bring the role very well in my opinion. And he really impressed me with the ugly faces he can make. :P
About it seeming a strange choice for Khromushin, I really can't tell. I think he brought a convincing Spartacus today; his acting was fine to me, and his technique was okay (just the pirouettes..). Of course, I haven't seen him do anything of the classical repertoire..
Can't really say anything about Anna Antonicheva; she danced very nice, but I haven't seen enough Phrygias to really tell..
And then Maria Alexandrova was absolutely stunning; to me she was perfect as Aegina, and I just couldn't take my eyes off het whenever she was onstage.
There was one other thing I really liked about this performance; Vyacheslav Lopatin as one of the three shepherds. He was smiling constantly and seemed to have so much fun on stage, it really made my day. (The other two were Denis Medvedev and Ruslan Pronin, they were fine too, just didn't seem that enthousiastic to be on stage.)
I was a little annoyed by Antonicheva's tights that were full of makeup from the first lift, but then I had chosen for seats in the front to see the dancer's faces, so it's my own fault, really.. :P

Well, I absolutely loved the ballet and if I ever get the chance to see it again, I certainly will. And this also made me look forward to my October trip to Moscow even more. :)


Alexandrova was the best part of the whole show, that's for sure. You're right. She commanded the stage like a true ballerina.
Antonicheva was not that bad as Phrygia, she knows the role inside out and was obviously helping Khromushin a great deal in the duets. He did a fine job, he survived the physical hurdles. Now he needs to find what to do with the character. But for a debut in this taxing role, he was really OK.

I can't imagine that you would want to miss tomorrow's performance.... Trust me, you're in for a treat. :wink:

#17 Lidewij

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 05:26 AM

Well, unfortunately it isn't possible for me to get there today, so I'm a bit sad now.. :wink:
Did you go, Marc? If so, how was it? I'm quite curious about Ivan Vasiliev in the role..

#18 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 03:11 PM

Well, unfortunately it isn't possible for me to get there today, so I'm a bit sad now.. :(
Did you go, Marc? If so, how was it? I'm quite curious about Ivan Vasiliev in the role..


Sorry for not replying sooner, Lidewij. I was just finishing my review of it. You can find it here:
The Bolshoi Ballet finds a new Spartacus.

#19 innopac

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 04:02 PM

clips on youtube - search on: bolshoi amsterdam spartak

#20 Lidewij

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 05:40 AM

Thank you for that, innopac, I'm going to watch these videos right away. :)

#21 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 06:00 AM

clips on youtube - search on: bolshoi amsterdam spartak


Some truly 1st class clips. Give a perfect idea of what the performances were like... :) Long live youtube!

#22 Ostrich

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 08:11 AM

Thanks for the review, Marc - I was jumping up and down in my seat waiting to hear how that debut went.

It is often said that these Grigorovich characters are one-dimensional, but one really starts to doubt such statements when true personalities sink their teeth in them.

I like how you said that and I agree totally.

#23 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 12:14 AM

Thanks for the review, Marc - I was jumping up and down in my seat waiting to hear how that debut went.

It is often said that these Grigorovich characters are one-dimensional, but one really starts to doubt such statements when true personalities sink their teeth in them.

I like how you said that and I agree totally.


Thanks, Ostrich. Bearing in mind that they filmed Acosta's Spartacus last year, there's very little or no chance at all they will ever film Vasiliev for commercial release.

#24 Richka

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:05 AM

I've looked for another thread about this ballet, but couldn't find one; I'm sorry if there already was one.
I will be going to a performance of Spartacus by the Bolshoi ballet in two weeks (the 26th). I have never seen this ballet before, nor have I seen any full version on film. (I did see some excerpts; the two Phrygia-Spartacus adagios and a dance by Aegina) If I order a film now I don't think I'd be able to watch it before the performance, so, just to be prepared I want to ask any of you who have seen it whether there is something to bear in mind during the performance, or anything like that?
I'd also be interested in your overall opinions on the ballet.

The announced cast for the performance is Nina Kaptsova as Phrygia, Ivan Vasiliev as Spartacus, Rinat Arifulin as Crassus and Maria Alexandrova (can't wait to see her live!) as Aegina.

Thank you very much. :)


Here it is a year later and I'm responding to your post. By now I'm sure you've seen Spartacus by the Bolshoi. I have seen this ballet many times and with original casts; Vasiliev, Maximova, Timofeeva and the great Marius Liepa. There definately is a complete film of it with this original cast, and in fact I own a copy.
Grigorovitch, the choreographer, when he left the Bolshoi, formed his own company and toured all over the world, even here to Tucson, Arizona where I live. It was a reduced version, leaving out the Shepherd's dance, obviously because he did not have the boys capable of it.
THere is another production of it done in Australia, with different choreography available on DVD, but it pales beside the Bolshoi version.

#25 innopac

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 01:26 PM

I have seen this ballet many times and with original casts; Vasiliev, Maximova, Timofeeva and the great Marius Liepa.


Hello Richka,

I have only seen three recorded performances of Grigorovich's Spartacus and have been unable to find the early recording with Ekaterina Maximova as Phrygia. To have seen the original cast live....

If you have time could you write more about how you react to this ballet? What you think of the choreography... Grigorovich as a choreographer... Memories of seeing the original casts...

#26 Richka

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 09:04 PM

I have seen this ballet many times and with original casts; Vasiliev, Maximova, Timofeeva and the great Marius Liepa.


Hello Richka,
If you have time could you write more about how you react to this ballet? What you think of the choreography... Grigorovich as a choreographer... Memories of seeing the original casts...


Of course, I will be glad to. I saw Sparticus with this original cast first, and I am going way back now, in 1976 at the Met. The Bolshoi came, both opera and ballet, for two months to help us celebrate 200th anniversary of American Revolution. First month was the Ballet. I booked Box 14 for every performance. Same for the 2nd month of Opera, but you want to hear about the ballet. They danced Spartacus many times, always with the same cast except V. Gordeyev danced the role a few times. As I am Russian speaking, I met many of the dancers. I showed Gordeyev around Manhattan and helped him buy sound equipment. Later Grigorovitch joined us as he wanted to buy a video recorder. So I took them to a video store I know. I can tell you I really struggled with my Russian language trying to explain technical things.
Anyway, they company left for Moscow, loaded with all kinds of recorders and sound equipment. Gordeyev later sent me a video of he and N. Pavlova in Giselle rehearsal from the Bolshoi stage.
OK, the Soviet Gov't had a center in the U.N. Building that they called a 'book club'. I often went there to see their films, always followed by a mad rush upstairs to a U.N lounge where they had free vodka and zakuski (snaks). Several years later they showed the film of Spartacus with original cast in the U.N. movie theater. I sat beside the Soviet Ambassador in the front row!
Now, First, briefly, here is my opinion of this ballet. Spartacus is one of, if not the most loved ballet I know. The Khataturian music is magnificent. Every time I saw it back in 1976 was like new. Griegorovitch in my opinion is the greatest living choreographer. Next is Ashton. I later saw it in Moscow with Mukamedov who danced it powerfully but not the same as Vasiliev. The film is magnificent. It surely is available. Have you tried Amazon?
Hope this is enough for now. Richka



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#27 innopac

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:44 PM

Thank you so much. I was also wondering if you know how Grigorovitch choreographed and worked to create his ballets?

#28 Richka

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:04 PM

Thank you so much. I was also wondering if you know how Grigorovitch choreographed and worked to create his ballets?


If I knew that I would be Grigorovitch himself. Thanx for your short reply.
Richka


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