Carlos Acosta is one of the greatest male dancers of our time and has performed with all the major ballet companies of the world including American Ballet Theatre, Royal Ballet, Houston Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and many more... more ». Spartacus is a major vehicle for the male lead and Acosta brings a wealth of talent and energy to this formidable role. Following sensational performances in Moscow and London in 2007, the Bolshoi's production was re-staged and filmed in January 2008 in the Paris Opera's Palais Garnier. This is the first major release of Spartacus since the Bolshoi's production in the 1970s. Includes a 30 minute extra video including interviews with Acosta and choreographer Yuri Grigorovich.« less
Remarkable Performance by Carlos Acosta and the Bolshoi
I. Martinez-Ybor | Miami, FL USA | 11/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Carlos Acosta IS Spartacus. The identification of role and dancer is absolute and all encompassing. There is passion, power, subtlety, conviction unmatched elsewhere. A big dancer in dances that demand big ample movement, Mr. Acosta's every pore, every muscle convey the character's deep emotions and committment to great, sweeping ideals. The technique is phenomenal. Ironically, what one remembers as most riveting is the eyes. There lives Spartacus, fighter, hero and very much a lover. Given the arduous role, Russian ballet has cast it always from strength, even if in subtly different interpretations: Vassiliev and Mukhamedov come to mind. Carlos Acosta, Cuban born and trained, at the summit of his breathtaking powers, a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, achieves greatness guesting with the Bolshoi at the Palais Garnier in Paris; never have dancer and part seemed so intimately matched in this ballet. This dvd is worth acquiring for this performance alone if for nothing else.
The other roles are also well danced. Crassus, at one time memorably performed by a haughty Maris Liepa, is here also outstandingly danced by Alexander Volchkov, but with a different slant, more venal, corrupt, sensual, than fascist. Nina Kaptsova is superb: a lyrical, eloquent, vulnerable Phrygia. Maria Allash is a delicious Aegina, a knowing courtesan and virtuoso secure in her powers to seduce and dance. Alexei Ratmansky's Bolshoi shines. The company is young and vibrant, as we already knew from Shostakovich - Bolt.
Spartacus seems less heavy-handed than it did in Soviet days. It does not carry the propaganda baggage one could choose to read (or ignore) at that time. Other things one associates with this work remain as they have always been. The Aram Khachaturian music, in the main, still sounds mostly loud, uninteresting and banal, indeed, for me, awful. The Grigorovich choreography is also a mixed bag. Quite emotive and free-flowing at times, yet also at times uninspired and clumsy: when unable to develop a choreographic paragraph from a phrase (steps), his only solution seems to be to repeat the steps which usually are quite ordinary. In other words, when inspiration falters, just do more of the same. These shortcomings have been present in this Bolshoi staple since the Grigorovich version was first produced. To some, they could easily render Spartacus unwatchable (yet to many it is a wonderful, stirring piece!). In this case, however, they are not so much overcome as overwhelmed by the eloquence, power, and brilliance of Carlos Acosta's performance.
The 2 dvd set, a live performance at the Palais Garnier, Paris, on 22 January 2008, contains a series of interviews with dancers, Grigorovich, Ratmansky, et al., as well as an extended, illuminating conversation with Carlos Acosta. The reproduction and sound are excellent."
Watch highlights on utube before you buy
L. ADAMIAN | NYC | 06/10/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I Martinez Ybor has an eloquent and favorable review with which I do not want to quibble. Just a warning: if you own the Vasiliev and/or the Mukhamedov versions, you might want to check out highlights of this version before you plunk down your money. If you do not, check highlights of those before you make a final decision."
Superb performance in two of the leading roles.
Balletomane | USA | 12/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The review of this DVD on this site by the person from India makes no sense. I was fortunate to see this performance live at the Paris Opera Ballet. It was performed by the Bolshoi Ballet's main company and Grigorovich supervised the final stage rehearsals. Carlos Acosta appeared as a guest artist and was coached in Paris by Mikhail Lavrovsky, one of the great interpreters of the role. Acosta and Nina Kaptsova were SUPERB - their performances are different from - but equal to - those of Lavrovsky & Bessmertnova and Vasiliev and Maximova. Acosta was stunning in his intensity and power. He was incredibly expressive. Unfortunately, he was dancing with a foot injury and so this performance is likely not his best technically. But that does not matter. Buy this DVD if you want to see a great interpretation of one of the few great roles for male ballet dancers. (The dancers who portray Crassus and Aegina are dreadful compared to others who have danced these roles. You can fast forward through their sections.)"
Mr. Daniel Zehnacker | 01/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"une révélation : Carlos Acosta. On a vraiment l'impression que le rôle est fait pour lui : un visage presque brutal, viril, et un corps souple et musclé. De l'intensité, de la fougue, et une maîtrise absolue tant physique, gestuelle, qu'expressive. Un régal. Belle mise en scène et partenaires efficaces : que du bonheur."
Ballet as you've seldom seen
Raleigh Winters | Ventura, CA USA | 11/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a joy this DVD is to view. The Bolshoi Ballet is always outstanding, but to star a lead such as Carlos Acosta, it becomes even more enjoyable. This dancer soars through the air and moves like a deer in flight! If you see this DVD and like it, I recommend you also see one of Romeo and Juliet, with Acosta in a great romantic telling of the love story; his Romeo is magnificent. "