2 3 Throwback Thursday and Maya Plisetskaya | Ballet Webb

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday and Maya Plisetskaya

Throwback Thursday and Maya Plisetskaya 

One of the world’s legendary ballerinas is Russian dancer Maya Plisetskaya.  Born in Moscow 1925, she studied at the Bolshoi Theatre School. She hails from an artistic and dancing family: her uncle Asaf Messerer was a famous dancer and choreographer, her aunt Sulamif Messerer was a first generation Soviet ballerina, and her mother was an actress. 

Historic and political events in Russia played a sad role in Maya’s life. In 1937 her father was arrested and executed, and a year later her mother was arrested and sent to a prison camp in Kazakhstan. Maya was taken in by her aunt Sulamif who also sheltered her older brother Azari. Later, Azari was a frequent partner of Alicia Alonso.

Maya rose rapidly through the ranks at the Bolshoi, and during her first season she performed more than twenty important roles. Known for her extraordinary technique including high extensions and long lines, she also possessed an exquisite musicality. She went on to perform principal roles for the rest of her career.

In 1959 Maya performed with the Bolshoi on its history-making tour to the United States. Before this time she had been forbidden to travel because of her family history. Now she was an international star and she continued to tour and perform throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Later, she left the Bolshoi and became artistic director of the Rome Opera Ballet, and then the Ballet del Teatro Lírico Nacional in Madrid, Sprain.

She wrote a memoir I, Maya Plisetskaya in 1994, and since the 1990s she has been living in Munich, Germany.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #58:  
Maya Plisetskaya is a Russian ballerina, choreographer and teacher.

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