Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Khatchaturian - Spartacus / Irek Mukhamedov Natalya Bessmertnova Maria Bylova Yuri Grigorovich Bolshoi Ballet|
Actors: Natalya Bessmertnova, The Bolshoi Ballet, Michail Gabovich, Irek Mukhamedov, Maria Bylova
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Spartacus, the story of a Roman slave?s fight for freedom, is one of the great epic adventure stories. Grigorovich?s choreography fills the huge Bolshoi stage with dynamic scenes of tension and conflict, which give full ex... more »
Gary | 06/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"*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 will keep the number of words to a minimum. Shot live in 1984, Mukhamedov is a leaner and faster Spartacus here than he is in the 1990 version. His older partner, Bessmertnova, is always elegant as Phrygia, although always somewhat lacking in facial expressiveness. Maria Bylova (Bilova) is already a great Aegina here; she repeats the role with greater precision in the '90 version. Unfortunately, they again cast the horrible Mikhail Gabovich in the role of Crassus (he was also in the '79 version), whose performance is predictably mediocre. Expectedly, the corps de ballet gives a solid performance. Picture and sound quality are generally good in this video, but are still inferior to that of the '90 version.
As I said in one review, I consider the '84 Mukhamedov to be one of the better complete Spartacus videos of the Grigorovich/Bolshoi production out there. However, since the 1990 version--which I deem to be the best of them all--is currently available (also the cheapest among the versions), the present one is superfluous."
Spartacus Marches On -- Again!
J. M WILINSKY | teaneck, NJ United States | 04/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, Irek Mukhamedov has, with this, two Spartacus dvds out. They are both marvelously done. Here, his leading lady is Natalya Bessmertnova as Phrygia(in the other it was Semenyaka). Here, Crassus is played by Mikhail Gobovich(Vetrov in the other), and Aegina is played by the awesome Maria Bylova in both versions. Irek dances with enormous energy and mastery of technique. He has a unique repertoire of choreographic tricks which he generously demonstrates for us every chance he gets. He surely is one of the greatest dancers to come out of Russia. The rest of the cast also put in impressive performances. The sound and image quality are also perfect. This is one of the best choices in Spartacus dvds(the one with Vasiliev, although not as complete, is my other choice)."
A "once in a lifetime performance" A Must See!
Amanda M | London/Los Angeles | 05/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I saw this production, my first thought was: Wow! They don't make Men like that very often! Mukhamedov's performance, with his passion, true understanding of the flow of movement and his physical strength, has such beauty and is something you will always remember. For any young (teenage) male dancer in the making and for girls too, this wonderful production will inspire you and let you see what ballet is really about.
James A. Pantano | beacon, new york United States | 08/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"at the time when i purchased spartacus the ballet it was just to see irek mukhamedov who i was very impressed with in mayerling. i had never seen spartacus before and had no idea how it was other then what was described in the amazon customer reviews. i purchased the 1990 version of spartacus first and then this version. another reviewer claimed this version to be non essential, but i disagree. i think its actually the better of the two, although i believe if you really like this ballet both should be had as they are both excellent and compliment each other. its interesting to watch both and note the different camera angles for different scenes. i find mukhamedovs portrayal of spartacus to be different in each. here we have a more youthful spartacus. he has a lean chiseled physique, sports a beard and his uprising seems to originate in his youthful exuberance, young ideals and all. in the 1990 version we see a large strapping man, you know (say this with a russian accent) "strong like bear" a presence to be reckoned with. his face looks chiseled here, like a marble bust. his eyes are majestically exspressive. his uprising is rooted in his desire to lead. his dancing in both is superb. the day i received this version i watched it twice that night and twice the next day. and again the day after that. i simply could not get enough. its amazing to think you could go through life not knowing something this great exist. the musical score is quite possibly the best i have ever heard in a ballet. i find myself constantly humming it. and of the other performers? the whole cast is outstanding. the dancer who portrays crassus here is quite villainous. arrogant, maniacal, driven, egotistical, an absolute prick. his equally devious female companion aegina is the embodiment of seductive corruption. spartacus romantic interest phyrigia is tender and emotional, she stands in stark contrast to the exultation of strength that spartacus is. but after whipping up that uprising, after the fist pumping, chest beatings, clashing of swords and swearing of oaths. after all this spartacus is putty in her hands, although he never loses awareness of who he is. the third act pas de deux between spartacus and phyrigia is simply stunning, gorgeous beyond belief. the whole story is represented well by the choreography. its big and bold, nothing subtle here. its definitely not giselle! i have always found ballet to be the perfect vehicle for metaphor and in spartacus i see so much represented. for anyone who has led a laborious life with a heavy burden of responsibility i dare you not to be moved by act ones slave dance and spartacus chain dance solo. obviously i can not recommend this enough.this is for anyone who enjoys grand spectacle, glorious violence and romantic tragedy, say in the mold of mel gibsons braveheart or russel crowes gladiator. a very moving and inspiring tale, yes. inspirational, check. of course spartacus dies at the end, but at least his death had meaning. if he didnt fight like hell for what he believed and eventually was killed for, we wouldnt have the awesome and enduring saga of spartacus."