The Cairo Opera House’s new ballet season of 2016 / 2017 opens with Aram Khachaturian’s Spartacus on the evenings of 28, 29 September and 3,4 and 5 October. Under artistic director Erminia Kamel, the Cairo Opera House’s ballet company will perform to music by the Cairo Opera Orchestra conducted by Nayer Nagui, and choreography by Valentin Yelizariev. The performance is designed by Mahmoud Haggag.
Spartacus was first performed in Egypt in 2010. It depicts the slave rebellion against the Roman emperors in the first-century BC when some 100,000 slaves revolted, led by the Thracian slave and gladiator Spartacus. In 71BC, Spartacus was defeated by Marcus Licinius Crassus, the powerful commander of the Roman Empire, yet the name Spartacus has gone down in history as an iconic revolutionary hero who rebelled against injustice and oppression.
The story of Spartacus attracted many writers, composers and filmmakers. Aram Khachaturian composed the music for the ballet in 1954. The ballet premiered in 1956 at the Kirov, with choreography by Leonid Yakobson. In 1968 Igor Moiseev and Yuri Grigorovich choreographed the performance of Spartacus by the Bolshoi in Moscow.
Yelizariev’s 1982 choreography focuses on the pathos of human suffering and the flagrant contradiction between slave oppression and the opulence and greed at the imperial court. It offers a deeply moving depiction of the exhilaration of the brief success of the revolution, and the bitter defeat which later followed.
26 September 2016