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On This Day: ‘Spartacus’ by Yury Grigorovich at The Bolshoi

On April 9, 1968 "Spartacus" premiered at the Bolshoi.


Premiering at the Bolshoi on April 9, 1968, "Spartacus" has gone on to become on of the theater’s most iconic productions.

The ballet tells the story of Spartacus, leader of the slave uprising against the Romans, and was originally composed by Aram Khachaturian in 1954. Khachaturian was awarded a Lenin Prize for his composition in the same year; the ballet was first staged two years later.

It was only in 1958, however, that "Spartacus" came to the Bolshoi for the first time under the choreography of Igor Moiseyev. A decade later in 1968, the production that would go on to receive great acclaim and become of of the Bolshoi’s greatest, was choreographed by Yury Grigorovich. His version of "Spartacus" was considered "modern" for the Bolshoi at the time, and this cemented Grigorovich’s reputation. He would continue to win awards and acclaim through his career at the Bolshoi, where he would work as an artistic director until 1995.

Till today, "Spartacus" remains one of the Bolshoi’s most prominent, and one of Khachaturian’s best known works.

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