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Khachaturian: Spartacus


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Product Details

  • Actors: Irek Mukhamedov, Alexander Vetrov, Maria Bilova, Lyudmilla Semenyaka, Bolshoi Opera Ballet
  • Directors: Algis Zhuraitis
  • Format: Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alliance
  • DVD Release Date: August 16, 2005
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009X24R0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,470 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Irek Mukhamedov, Lyudmilla Semenyaka, and Aleksandr Vetrov star in this Bolshoi Ballet production of the Khachaturian ballet, choreographed by Grigorovich, with Algis Zhuraitis conducting.

Customer Reviews

Add the fantastic dancers and colorful sets and you've got a dynamite production.
Charles D. novak
For me the music is one of the major attractions to this ballet and the music is very well performed by the Bolshoi orchestra.
David Bower
This powerful visual symbolism was used to show the class differences between the antagonists.
R. Houck

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Gary on August 15, 2005
Verified Purchase
*If you're reading this review, I assume you have already read the one I wrote about the 1977 film-version of the Spartacus ballet (starring Vasiliev), entitled "A Problematic Film: some remedies". If not, I urge you to read that one first. You can locate it and my reviews about other videos of this ballet in my archives by clicking on my name above.

I am overjoyed that the live 1990 complete performance of the Grigorovich/Bolshoi Spartacus has been reissued on DVD. Incidentally, this was the first Spartacus I ever saw. And interestingly, I got the complete companion CD to this performance before I got the video. So, by the time I purchased the video--which was in VHS format--I already knew the music by heart. As a result, the visuals only added to the enjoyment, and it certainly clarified what some of the sounds I heard were. For example, the crackles at the beginning of Act I turned out to have come from the thrashing of the whips on the floor by Crassus' henchmen.

So, what of the performance? Well, although none of the original cast-members were still performing at this late date, the younger generation proved that it was every bit the successor. The stars in this performance were: Irek Mukhamedov as Spartacus, Lyudmilla Semenyaka as Phrygia, Alexander Vetrov as Crassus, and Maria Bilova as Aegina.

True, Mukhamedov was no Vasiliev; he was about 30 at the time of this performance and was already a tad slower than Vasiliev when he was at that age; note that Vasiliev had to wait till he was about 37 before his legendary film-version was shot--albeit, poorly shot. However, what Mukhamedov lacked he made up for with his athleticism.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By R. Houck on September 9, 2005
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I am only a minor fan of ballet. However, this performance was truly moving.

Ballet must communicate its story without using dialogue. The choreography and expressive dancing fully succeeded here. The dancers' movements were both strikingly athletic and gracefully delicate and the costumes and scenery were extremely effective in setting the period atmosphere. Aram Khachaturian's music was lush, beautiful and sometimes poignant, well performed by the theater orchestra.

The Romans, led by Crassus, are obviously the bad guys. Having the Roman soldiers march in a goose-step like the Nazis was extremely expressive. Also, in some of the scenes the motions of the aristocratic Romans were more fluid and graceful than those of Spartacus' slave followers, who were more primitive and athletic. This powerful visual symbolism was used to show the class differences between the antagonists.

Phyrigia danced with heart-breaking grace, expressing feminine beauty at its loveliest. Her love scenes with Spartacus were beautifully erotic.

All technical aspects of this dvd were first rate.

This production grabbed my attention from start to finish. Highly recommended.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Charles D. novak on September 22, 2005
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This is truly worth the price tag even though you may not be a big fan of ballet, this performance will make one out of you. This is just superb on every level. I have the old Bolshoi production which was filmed on a soundstage. Try as they might, they couldn't bring the soundtrack up to modern expectations. The laser disc version came close. I was thrilled to see this new 1990 production on DVD with sound as spectacular as the dancing. The music of this ballet can stand alone. I have it on CD. It's one of the best works by Khachaturian. Add the fantastic dancers and colorful sets and you've got a dynamite production. I highly recommend this one!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Bower TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 2, 2011
My review will focus on the ballet as my copy of this performance is on LaserDisc, not DVD. I have owned my copy of this performance for many years and always delight in playing it again. I have found this performance to combine beauty and excitement from its dramatic beginning all the way through. The music is beautiful and the dancing is both dramatic and beautiful.

Irek Mukhamedov dances the role of Spartacus with great energy and makes it easy to understand his popularity at this time. If my information is correct, this is one of the last performances he did for the Bolshoi before leaving to join the Royal Ballet in London. Alexander Vetrov dances a very threatening Crassus and joins with Mukhamedov in turning in a powerful performance.

Both women's leads, Phrygia, the wife of Spartacus, danced by Lyudmila Semenyaka, and Aegina, the mistress of Crassus, danced by Maria Bilova, are well danced by these two fine ballerinas.

For me the music is one of the major attractions to this ballet and the music is very well performed by the Bolshoi orchestra. Another feature is the corps de ballet. Spartacus requires a large number of men dancers and the Bolshoi can provide all of the men dancers needed. The icing on the cake here is both the men and women dancers do outstanding jobs.

All told this is a very rewarding ballet experience; if you're a fan of ballet, especially if you appreciate the music of Khachaturian, you'll enjoy this ballet performance.
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