Maya Mikhailovna

1925- 2015
Maya Mikhailovna Plisetskaya (1925-2015) is one of the greatest ballerina of the 20th century.

As a teenager, Maya and her parents lived on Spitzbergen. There her father was the head of “Arktikugol” (“Arctic Coal”), later on he was the consul general. In 1937, Mikhail Emmanuilovich was arrested and the next year, executed. Her mother also was arrested and deported to Kazakhstan. Her aunt, Sulamith Messerer, a solo dancer of the Bolshoi Theatre took the girl to the “Red Riding Hood” performance. The aunt enlisted the seven-year-old to the dance school. She saw that the girl had talent. In 1941-1942, Plisetskaya was evacuated to Sverdlovsk where she had made her debut as a ballerina. In 1943, Maya graduated from the Moscow dance school and was accepted to the Bolshoi Theatre. Shortly Maya performed solo parts and became the prima ballerina.

In 1967, Maya Mikhailovna acted in the “Anna Karenina” film. Later she chose that creation as her ballet master debut. In 1980s, the ballerina worked abroad. She was the artistic leader of the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Rome as well as led the national ballet in Madrid. There she recommenced the ballet “The Wayward Daughter” (“La Fille mal gardée”).

In 1990, the Russian choreographer Yuri Grigorovich fired the ballerina from the Bolshoi Theatre that caused public outcry. However, Plisetskaya kept on working. She participated in concerts, arranged masterclasses. At the age of 70, Maya Mikhailovna shone in “Ave Maya” performance. That happened on the ballerina’s birthday.
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