Ballet Is Probably Our Choice Mode Of Viewing Male Heroism

Behind the scenes of the Bolshoi Ballet's epic "Spartacus."

You might not immediately associate unbridled and passionate male heroism with ballet. But then again, you probably haven't seen legendary choreographer Yuri Grigorovich's "Spartacus." 

The work is loosely based on the ancient tale of a gladiator who led a slave revolt against Roman commander Crassus. You're likely familiar with Stanley Kubrick's film version starring Kirk Douglas, or, at the very least, its brief cameo in "Clueless." 

But imagine the gold-clad gladiators expressing their aggression through passionate and graceful movements that require almost Olympic levels of training. Embodying the roles is just an additional hurdle. 

"You have to completely submerge yourself into the character," principal dancer Denis Rodkin says in the video below. "When we go out on stage, the artist immediately becomes naked."

Between the physical stamina and the emotional intensity demanded to execute the piece, for dancers, it's the performance of a lifetime. As Rodkin put it: "It’s possible that working on this role would require my entire ballet career."

Since it's 1968 debut, "Spartacus," with music by Aram Khachaturian, has become one of the Bolshoi Ballet's most iconic productions. And lucky for those of outside of Russia, the mesmerizing experience is coming to over 500 cinema screens worldwide on March 13, 2016. 

For screenings and tickets in North America please visit Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema and for international screenings visit Pathe Live.



Ballet Dancers Changing the Landscape