Maya Plisetskaya – great ballerina
On November 20, 1925 one of the world’s most famous ballerinas Maya Plisetskaya was born. She is truly a legend, her dancing is magic, Nirvana and just breathtaking. She deserved those long standing ovations.
In order to be a ballerina Plisetskaya, being evacuated to Sverdlovsk during the Great Patriotic War, without a permit went to Moscow to study ballet.
In spring 1943 she began working at the Bolshoi Theater. In the first season Plisetskaya danced Masha in The Nutcracker, then Mirta in Giselle, she was the first Autumn fairy in Cinderella, Kitri in Don Quixote. In Sleeping Beauty Maya performed the role of Aurora. Soon Plisetskaya became a prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater, succeeding the great Galina Ulanova.
Later Plisetskaya’s Dying Swan became famous throughout the world. By the way, before the dance, she visited the zoo and watched swans’ plastic, head movement and wingspan. Ballerina danced Swan Lake for more than 800 times.
Her regular partners were Alexander Bogatyrev and Alexander Godunov.
Plisetskaya became famous not only as a magnificent dancer, but also as a talented choreographer. She staged many performances at the Bolshoi Theater. Unfortunately, in the late 80s the ballerina was forced to leave the main ballet area of the country. The reason was a conflict with the leadership. In 1990, Yuri Grigorovich fired her along with Ekaterina Maximova and Vladimir Vasiliev.
The ballerina worked as the head of the Rome Theater of Opera and Ballet and the Spanish National Ballet. She collaborated with Rudolph Nuriev and Roland Petit, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Maurice Bejart.
You know, costumes for Plisetskaya were created by Yves Saint Laurent and Jean Paul Gaultier.
In 1971 at the Festival d’Avignon Nadia Leger introduced Plisetskaya to Pierre Cardin. Ballerina became his muse for decades.
Once in Paris outstanding dancer Serge Lifar introduced Russian ballerina to Coco Chanel, who was already over 80. It was the most precious gift Maya received.
In 1962 Plisetskaya met the brother of the U.S. President, Robert Kennedy, who presented her with flowers and diamonds.
Everyone fell in love with her dance, but not her own husband. Composer Rodion Shchedrin liked… her voice. They first met at Lilya Brik’s party in 1955. You know, Lilya was the muse of the great Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. When the great composer first saw Maya, he was twenty-three years old and she was thirty years old.
And only three years after the first meeting Shchedrin and Plisetskaya realized that they loved each other. He wrote ballets for her, she danced them. They had many joint works – Carmen Suite, Anna Karenina, The Lady with the Dog, The Seagull.
Then Plisetskaya and Shchedrin lived in Munich. And this couple was easier to meet not in the opera, but… on the stadium. They didn’t miss a single football match.
Plisetskaya didn’t have children. Ballerina categorically states that “There are a lot of families with children, and Plisetskaya is the only one”.
Her dream was to dance Carmen. She asked famous Alberto Alonso to write a ballet for her, but something went wrong. And her wonderful husband helped. He had created a masterpiece for 19 days. Now Carmen Suite is classic.
Ballerina often performed as an actress.
Plisetskaya has published two autobiographies – I, Maya Plisetskaya and Thirteen Years Later.
Great ballerina has received numerous awards, not only in her homeland, but also abroad. She was awarded Anna Pavlova Prize, Paris Academy of Dance (1962), Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (France, 1984), French Order Legion of Honor (1986), Commander of the Order of Isabella the Catholic (Spain, 1991), Great Commander’s Cross of the Order for Merits to Lithuania (2003), Prince of Asturias Award (2005, Spain), Order of the Rising Sun, 3rd class (Japan, 2011).
Also Maya is an owner of the title Honorary Citizen of Spain.
Famous ballet dancer, prima ballerina Maya Plisetskaya died on May 2, 2015. However, the graves of the brilliant Maya are neither in Moscow nor in Munich. The dancer wanted her ashes to be dispersed over Russia.
Her fan page Vkontakte: vk.com/maiya_plisetskaya