When Grigorovich took the challenge of choreographing Khachaturian's Spartacus - who had searched the story of this rebelled slave in Appian and Plutarch,more than in Giovaniolli's novel as basis for his ballet score -he would be the third coreographer to do so,after Yakobson in 1956 and Moiseev,in 58.
In 1963 he finally staged this 3rd productin of Spartacus,for Bolshoi.The leading role does demand an exceptional physically gifted dancer in order to give life to the extremely violent choreography with its "jetés" and leap sequences,not to mention strength.Mikhail Lavrovsky,Vladimir Vasiliev and Irek Mukhamedov became legendary interpreters of Grigorovich's Spartacus.Two dancers,young Ivan Vasiliev - possibly one exceptional Spartacus to be - and cuban Carlos Acosta have the courage to dance the part,nowadays.
Carlos Acosta,internationally recognised ballet dancer,even foot injured,gives,live from Palais Garnier,an accurate interpretation of this demanding role,after Moscow and London.His generosity,his inner capability of giving the rebelious slave a soul through dancing,is absolutely remarkable,and technically too,though injured as I previously said.
His partenaire Kaptsova is neither Semenyaka nor Bessmertnova but portrays a fragile,tender Phrygia.
Allash's Aegina,quite convincing,follows Bilova's steps who danced the two Mukhamedov versions.The weakest part is Volshkov's Crassus,for far from being a cruel despot the role requires, is galaxies away from Vetrov's or Taranda's energic,violent dancing.The orchestra plays proficiently.The Bolshoi corps,alas,does not bear the masculine quality male Bolshoi dancers used to have...I did think of majorettes,once or twice.
The filming is excellent,the blu-ray DVD image exceptional.Still,Vasiliev and Mukhamedov remain unsurpassed.