Spartacus is one of most famous works in the repertory of the Soviet era ballet. Created in 1980, the choreography follows the inspiration of the main innovative tendencies of the classical dance of the time.
Spartacus is a Thrace, free from birth, engaged in the Roman army. Having become deserter by escaping, he is caught and taken again, reduced to slavery. Sold in Rome to a rich owner of a gladiator’s school, he is obliged to fight in the arenas to amuse the crowd. He rebels and escapes with seventy other slaves. "If one must fight, it will be for freedom!” With his men, he wins his first victories over the Romans, and their liberating army increases. However, badly equipped and poorly trained, the army of Spartacus could not resist the powerful army of the Empire, directed by Crassus for long. The rebellion raised by Spartacus (73-71 before J.C.) was a remarkable event in the history of Rome, and inspired thereafter, the revolutionists of 19th century. Spartacus was created in 1976 by Grigorovitch at the Moscow Bolchoi and was danced by Ekaterina Maximova, Alexander Vassiliev and Marius Liepa.
Aram Illich Khatchaturian was born in Armenia in 1903. Adolescent during the revolution, Aram Khatchaturian adheres to his values. He studied the cello and composition at the Gnessine School of Music in Moscow and completed his studies with the Moscow Conservatory in 1934 (composition with N Y Miaskovsky). The talent of this Armenian Soviet composer is recognized very quickly. He wins the State Prize (1941,1943, 1946, 1950) and the Lenin Prize (1959). In 1954, he is named Artiste of the People of the USSR. In 1955, he is Artiste of the People of the Republic of Armenia. He becomes a conductor in 1950, directing his own works in Russia and abroad. He was a professor of composition at the Conservatory of Moscow and the Gnessine Institute. Continuing the Russian musical tradition of 19th century, Khatchaturian found his inspiration in the traditional music of Armenia. His work is characterized by its lyric character, its rhythms inspired by dance, flavored by his harmony and orchestration. The reputation of Khatchaturian went well beyond the borders of the USSR. He owes the greatest part of his success to his concertos, and his ballets: Gayaneh (from which “Dance of the Saber” is extracted), Spartacus.