09:19 31.05.2021

KHNATOB named after M.V. Lysenko presents the ballet blockbuster "Spartacus" in the stage production of Georgiy Kovtun

5 min read

This is a ballet never seen before in Ukraine! It is the most large-scale production of the Kharkiv National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre named after M.V. Lysenko / SKHID OPERA, for which over 300 costumes, 80 spears, 60 swords and shields have been manufactured. Up to 200 artists are simultaneously performing on the stage, including the ballet company, the chorus, the supernumeraries and the students of the ballet school. Decorations are changed 9 times during the performance. The choreographer-director, the People’s Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan Georgiy Kovtun, notes that he has created a show similar to a wide-screen movie.

"My choreography is a difficult work for the artists, both females and males. However, in the first place, it is a male performance. I always joke that "Spartacus" is a kind of revenge to the male dancers, as in most performances female dancers perform the second and third acts, while men can go home. But in this ballet everyone is dancing from the beginning of the first act to the end of the last one", - tells Georgiy Kovtun.

On the stage of SKHID OPERA, the complete score of the great Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian is performed, supplemented by the specially created solo and choral vocal parts, which are important for creating the proper atmosphere of specific episodes of the performance. The original libretto was also subject to changes, in which the director somewhat changed the character of the leader of the Roman gladiators, as well as the main female characters. In the non-standard production, the choreographer combined elements of acrobatics and stunts with the classical choreography. The audience is to see striking mass scenes of orgies of the Roman nobility and gladiator fights, sensual love scenes and the dramatic, but life-asserting final.

"All these difficulties create a challenge for the artists, for their self-affirmation. An artistic person cannot rest on the laurels; he always strives at climbing one more step higher and higher. When an artist faces a challenge, he is to reveal his talents, so that he could later proudly say: "I can do it, I can perform stunts, I can toss my partner in the air and she will feel confident in my arms". All of them were initially afraid – and it is natural, but then comes a moment when they start doing it easily, without hesitating. Every person feels a certain fervor, and, to a large degree, my job now is to push an artist forward and make him unlock it, and then they rise without my further assistance", - explains Georgiy Kovtun.

The conductor-director, Honoured Worker of Arts of Ukraine Dmytro Morozov notes that this performance has become a serious test not only for the artists of the ballet, but also for the musicians: "It is one of the most difficult ballets for the orchestra. The composer wrote it for the triple orchestra cast, it includes a number of complex episodes, especially for the string group. However, the orchestra of SKHID OPERA successfully managed with all the difficulties of the author’s score".

One of the views of the ballet, 80-years old Kharkovite Isaak Fayler, was deeply impressed by grandiosity of the performance. He told that many years ago, in 1967, he visited the premiere of the ballet "Spartacus", at which Aram Khachaturian himself was present. "Both productions are great in their own manner", - he considers. We didn’t see a single disappointed person among the audience at the premiere of the performance. The audience burst with applauses after every scene and solo part, and the final caused tears. The audience continued to applause standing for twenty minutes, holding the artists on the stage and expressing gratitude to all the artistic group involved in the performance. 

The manager of the project, the First Deputy Director General, Honoured Worker of Arts of Ukraine Igor Tuluzov noted: "It was a certain challenge for all of us. Besides, we found out that we need to expand the male cast of the ballet company".

"The unique music by Aram Khachaturian and the unique choreography became one – and we saw this unique ballet", - adds the Director General - Artistic Director of the Theatre, Honoured Worker of Arts of Ukraine Oleg Orishchenko. 

We would also like to express our gratitude to the sponsors, which made this project possible: the Vostok Bank and, in particular, its Chairman of the Board Vadym Morokhovskyi, the Charity Fund of Denys Paramonov and the Company "SUNOIL". SKHID OPERA is extremely grateful to our partners for the possibility of creating a striking and innovative performance, which became an outstanding event in the cultural life of Ukraine.  

The national premiere of the ballet "Spartacus" is an exciting story of confrontation of a personality, a hero, with the ruthless Empire, which destroys or conquers entire nations. The subject of the revolt of Spartacus and the struggle for own freedom is still very important and has a topical public response.

So, the premiere has already taken place. We invite the audience for the performance to be held on June 3, 4, 5, 11, 12 and 13!

 

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