Spartacus Revived: Main Event of the Season

The revival of Aram Khachaturian's Spartacus by the Leonid Yacobson Ballet Theatre became the main event of this season. One could even go so far as to call this performance a première, as most of the dancers had to study the choreography of this legendary ballet for the first time in their lives. Some of the tutors that oversaw the rehearsals had had the honour of working with Leonid Yacobson in person; their task was to train several line-ups of the cast.

During the opening night (on December 24, at the Lensoviet Palace of Culture), the main parts were performed by Sergey Umanets (Spartacus), Anna Ignatyeva (Phrygia), Evgenia Shtaneva (Aegina), Ilya Osipov (Harmodius), and Elena Podymova (leader of the Puellae Gaditanae), as well as Ludmila Mizinova, Mikhail Anisimov, and Mikhail Bogomazov (Etruscan dance). During the March 9 performance at the Conservatory Theatre, the role of Spartacus was played by Sergey Davydov. He also made an appearance as Spartacus in the show at the Bryantsev Youth Theatre on April 4, partnered with Anna Naumenko, who played the part of Phrygia for the first time in her career. That night was marked by several more débuts, including Darya Elmakova as Aegina, Olga Mikhailova as the Egyptian Woman, Natalya Inyushkina as one of the Etruscan dancers, and Evgenia Shtaneva as the leader of the Puellae Gaditanae.

The ballet is incredibly enchanting, not only because of the colourful crowd scenes — from the thrillingly suspenseful gladiator fights to the wild, intoxicating Saturnalia celebrations — but also due to the powerful performance by the theatre's soloists. Each of them used their unique skills and a profound understanding of all the subtleties of the legendary ballet's choreography to convey their characters' thoughts and feelings through dance. Heated emotions, a dazzling array of 'scenes from Roman life', impressive acting, incredibly expressive body language — these are the defining traits that set apart Leonid Yacobson Company's rendition of Spartacus.