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 Maya Plisetskaya


Born:   November 20, 1925
Deceased:   May 2, 2015

Ballerina

      

An outstanding ballerina of the second half of the 20th century and a unique example of phenomenal creative longevity, Maya Plisetskaya was born on November 20, 1925 in Moscow. Her parents were repressed and Maya with her brother were brought up by their uncle and aunt, Asaf and Sulamif Messerer, who were notable dancers of the Bolshoi Theatre.

In 1934 Maya entered the Moscow Choreographic College. Her best teacher she considers to have been Agrippina Vaganova, who she met at the Bolshoi Theatre. Maya`s first performance at the Bolshoi Theatre took place when she turned 11. In 1943 she graduated from the Moscow Choreography School and joined the ensemble of the Bolshoi Theatre where she performed till 1990.

In November of 1943 she got her first major role in “Les Sylphides”. Later she also performed as Masha in Tchaikovsky's “Nutcracker”, Myrtha in “Giselle”, and Raymonda in the ballet with the same name.

In 1947 she danced the Odetta-Odillia's part in the Swan Lake by Chaikovsky. This ballet became one of the major spectacles in her creative life.

In the 1960s Maya Plisetskaya was officially considered the Prima of the Bolshoi Theatre. Though there could not be lack of parts for her, she soon came to experience a growing feeling of creative discontent.

In 1983 she was offered to become an art director of the ballet of the Rome Opera. Visiting Rome from time to time Plisetskaya held this post for a year and a half. From 1987 to 1990 she mainly worked in Spain. For the first time she performed her famous part of the 'Dying Swan' to a vocal accompaniment - that was a recorded part by Montserrat Cabalie.

On January 4, 1990 Maya Plisetskaya danced in 'Lady with a Dog' that turned to be her last appearance on stage of the Bolshoi Theatre. Long lasting dissension with the art directorship of the ballet troupe drove her to leave the Bolshoi. By 1991 the major creative and publishing interests of her husband, composer Rodion Shedrin centered in Munich and the couple soon settled in this city, though they also live in Moscow and in their cottage in Lithuania.

A number of documentaries have been shot about Maya Plisetskay, books have been written on her art and life. The ballerina herself published an autobiographical book under the tiled 'I, Maya Plisetskaya'. First published in 1994 the book was reedited several times in Russia and translated into 11 languages. Her titles and awards are difficult to enumerate all.

To name but a few, she is Doctor at Sorbonne (1985) and Professor Emeritus at Moscow State University (1993).

To add to the immortal fame of the ballerina there is now a small planet named after Maya Plisetskaya. In 1994 Institute for Theoretical Astronomy gave Plisetskaya's name to planet No. 4626.

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Tags: Maya Plisetskaya Russian Ballet Dancers Russian Ballet   




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