Spartacus!

Mikhail Lobukhin in Yuri Grigorovich's "Spartacus." Photo by Elena Fetisova.
Mikhail Lobukhin in Yuri Grigorovich’s “Spartacus.” Photo by Elena Fetisova.

 

To conclude its Lincoln Center run, the Bolshoi performed its indefatigable Yuri Grigorovich production of Spartacus, the ultimate man-fest. In one sailing trajectory after another, Mikhail Lobukhin, our leading man, was a paragon of Bolshoi manliness and virtue. By the end, you just wanted to kiss him and make it better. Here’s my review for DanceTabs.

And a short excerpt: “It’s perfectly understandable why the company has continued to dance Spartacus over the years, especially on tour….In the absence of a compelling vision, the Bolshoi can always rely on Spartacus to whip the audience into a frenzy.”

 

Ballet as Pop Art

Maria Alexandrova in Bolshoi Ballet's production of Don Quixote. Photo by Damir Yusupov.
Maria Alexandrova in Bolshoi Ballet’s production of Don Quixote. Photo by Damir Yusupov.

I think it’s safe to say that no-one dances Don Quixote like the Bolshoi. The ballet is shallow, it’s showy, but, particularly in the first act, its exuberance is a kind of paean to the art form itself, the joy of the stage, the stirring effect of dozens of bodies moving with the kind of amplitude and produced by years and years of training. Here’s my review of one of the Bolshoi casts, for DanceTabs.