All proceeds from sales for the ballet Spartacus, in a one-off performance today at the Cultural Centre by the Bolshoi Theatre, will be donated to the Academy for Performing Arts. The donation by Basic Element, a Russian investment company sponsoring this event, will probably top US$40,000, a company official said. The company said the aim of the gift was to foster talented young Hongkonger dancers in the hope of promoting cultural exchanges. Spokesman Konstantin Panin said: 'We are committed to the promotion of cultural links between Russia and Hong Kong. Spartacus is a true Russian ballet classic, and we proudly sponsor this event so that the Hong Kong people can have an excellent opportunity to see this ballet. 'We hope that rising Hong Kong ballet talent can then perform in Russia some day.' The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow was founded in 1776 and hosts a theatre group whose repertoire includes a number of classic productions, counting Spartacus, which is based on a slave uprising in ancient Rome. Composed by Aram Khachaturian in 1954, the ballet was notably interpreted by Yuri Grigorovich, the artistic director between 1964 and 1995. Lead soloist Ivan Vasiliev, 19, said: 'I am extremely honoured to be playing this demanding and yet fantastic role.' Theatre spokesman Katerina Novikova said: 'We are very fortunate to have Basic Element sponsoring this event in Hong Kong.' All seats have been sold out.