Biography of Maya Plisetskaya

Maya Plisetskaya bequeathed to dispel her dust over Russia. She lived a long and fulfilling life. Prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater of the USSR and a world-famous ballerina, she became a symbol of her era, a benchmark and an example to follow.

Family and childhood of Maya Plisetskaya

Maya Mikhailovna Plisetskaya was born in Moscow, in a huge Jewish family. After 6 years, her middle brother Alexander was born, who later became a choreographer, and six years later, her younger brother Azari, the future choreographer.
Maya Plisetskaya with mom and dadMaya Plisetskaya with mom and dad
She had 11 uncles and aunts, and all of them were somehow connected with ballet and dance. For example, Asaf Messerer’s maternal uncle was a virtuoso dancer and an excellent teacher.
The mother of the future great ballerina Rachel Messerer (nee) was the star of the “Great silent film”. She attracted the attention of viewers and directors. Because of her characteristic appearance: dark hair and oriental features, she often got the role of Uzbek women.True, the career of the actress had to leave because of her husband and children.
Mai Plisetskaya family: with mom and brotherMai Plisetskaya family: with mom and brother
But the father of Maya, Michael Emmanuilovich held economic and diplomatic positions. At first he worked in the executive committee, then in the commissariats of foreign affairs and foreign trade. The father of the future star also participated in the production of films, where he met his future wife.
In 1932 he was appointed to head the coal mines in Svalbard, and the whole family had to move. There he simultaneously held the post of Consul General of the USSR.
Maya Plisetskaya in his youthMaya Plisetskaya in his youth
It was on Spitsbergen Island that little Maya first appeared on the scene. She played her first role in the opera “Mermaid” by Dargomyzhsky. From that moment on, the baby could not sit still and began to simply dream the stage and performances in public. She seemed to be preparing herself for a brilliant future and constantly sang, danced, improvised. In the family, it was decided upon returning to Moscow to give fidget to a choreographic school. Seven-year-old Maya was given to the class of the former Bolshoi Theater soloist Evgenia Dolinskaya.
In May 1937, KGB officers took Maya's father away and, a year after his arrest, they shot him, suspecting of espionage. A few months later, his wife Rachel was also arrested. It happened right at the Bolshoi Theater, at the time when Sleeping Beauty was on stage and the aunt of the future ballerina Sulamith performed. Rachel Plisetskaya-Messerer received 8 years in prison as the wife of an enemy of the people. She and her newborn child (the youngest son Azarii) placed the wives of traitors of the Motherland in the Akmola camp. Only thanks to the efforts of their close relatives, she was first transferred to a free settlement in Shymkent. And only in 1941, her sentence was softened and allowed to return to Moscow.
Ballerina Maya PlisetskayaBallerina Maya Plisetskaya
The middle son, Alexander, was sheltered by Uncle Asaf, and 12-year-old Maya was adopted by Aunt Shulamith. A kind relative received her orphaned niece so that she would not be sent to an orphanage. However, as Maya Mikhailovna later admitted, the aunt did not just do good to her niece. She demanded that the girl be grateful to her and often humiliate her.

Beginning of Maya Plisetskaya's career

The first significant performance at the Bolshoi Theater at Maya Plisetskaya was held on the eve of the fateful day for the Soviet Union.Less than a day before the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, a graduation concert of a choreographic school was held on the stage of a branch of the State Academic Bolshoi Theater.
Maya Plisetskaya - The Swan (film-ballet 1975)
But the war made its own adjustments to the fate of the prima. From September 1941, the Maya Plisetskaya family was evacuated to Sverdlovsk. Unfortunately, in the city it was impossible to continue their studies or go in for ballet.
To finish her studies, a 16-year-old girl decided to flee to Moscow, where even during the war, classes at the Moscow School of Choreography continued. She was again enrolled, but this time - immediately to the senior class for the course of Elizaveta Gerdt and Maria Leontyeva. In 1943, the training was completed, and Maya was immediately accepted into the staff of the Bolshoi Theater.
Maya Plisetskaya and Yves Saint LaurentMaya Plisetskaya and Yves Saint Laurent
From the very first steps on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater, Maya's individuality, its expressiveness and the dynamics of dance, and particular passion showed up. Success was not long in coming. Plisetskaya received recognition in the ballet "Chopeniana", where she performed the mazurka. Each jump Maya caused unceasing applause.
The girl loved to dance, but she did not want to work. Much later, she began to understand how interesting and creative the daily work of a ballerina can be. The path to the top of Plisetskaya’s career can still be compared with climbing stairs: it rose gradually to its main parties. For example, in the ballet "Sleeping Beauty" she was first the Lilac fairy, then the fairy Violant, and then Aurora. In Don Quixote, the dancer danced almost all the women's parties and finally got the role of Kitri.
Maya Plisetskaya - Raymond, 1959
In 1948, Maya danced Giselle in the ballet of the same name. And after Galina Ulanova left the theater for a deserved rest, Plisetskaya became a prima ballerina and received solo parts. Its unique dance style, flexibility, plasticity and graceful movement of hands are recognized worldwide. She created her own unique style of ballet, which earned world fame.
True, not everything went smoothly in a ballet dancer's career. With the chief choreographer of the Bolshoi Theater Yuri Grigorovich she could not get along, and over the years this confrontation only intensified.
Galina Ulanova and Maya Plisetskaya during a rehearsal. 1969Galina Ulanova and Maya Plisetskaya during a rehearsal. 1969
In 1956, the theater troupe went to England for the first time abroad, but Maya Plisetskaya did not receive permission to leave the country. They tried to accuse her of espionage and over the next five years she was restricted to travel abroad. But the ballerina successfully toured the country, winning the love of her compatriots. In 1959, Plisetskaya was awarded the title of People's Artist of the USSR.

Maya Plisetskaya film career

In 1952, Maya Plisetskaya first appeared in the cinema. She can be seen in the film “The Big Concert” by Vera Stroevoy. Well, then followed by roles in the movies-ballets: "Swan Lake", "The Tale of the Horse-Gorbunka" and "Anna Karenina." I will accept the Big invited to the film-opera "Khovanshchina". The ballerina participated in the adaptation of the ballets "Isadora", "Bolero", "The Seagull", "The Lady with the Dog." In 1974, she was invited along with the Bolshoi Theater soloist Bogatyrev for the Nocturne telenomer to the music of Friedrich Chopin from the ballet In the Night choreographer Jerome Robbins.
Maya Plisetskaya - Bolero
In 1968, the ballerina played Betsy in the film adaptation of the novel "Anna Karenina" Zarkhi. Plisetskaya coped with the work perfectly, despite the difference in the work on the theatrical stage and on the set. In some films she even had roles with text. For example, in Bejart ballets.Plisetskaya also starred in the role of Desire in the Tchaikovsky tape of Talankin. Then Vaitkus called the dancer to the role of the muse Churlionis in the painting “Zodiac”.
In 1976, the actress played a ballet star in the TV movie "Fantasia" based on the Turgenev story "Spring Waters". The role of Polozova she succeeded brilliantly. Choreographic duets were staged by choreographer Elizariev.
Maya Plisetskaya diet is simple - nothing isMaya Plisetskaya diet is simple - nothing is
After feature films began to shoot documentaries. The main role again got Plisetskaya. TV artists began to be interested in the fate of the artist, the development of her career, different facets of her personal and creative life. The brightest documentaries about Maya Mikhailovna: “Maya Plisetskaya. Familiar and unfamiliar "and" Maya Plisetskaya. " In addition, the Maya films by Sakagushi for Japanese TV and Maya Plisetskaya by Delyush for the French are also devoted to her work. In the tape "Maya Plisetskaya assoluta" he showed a ballerina in the dance and there invariably were "swan" arm movements that glorified Maya to the whole world.
With a growth of 167 cm, the weight of Maya Plisetskaya was from 49 to 58 kgWith a growth of 167 cm, the weight of Maya Plisetskaya was from 49 to 58 kg
However, Maya herself believes that it is necessary to dance with the whole body.Feet, head, body and, of course, hands should be involved. “It is important to dance music, not to the music,” says the ballerina. The creative motto of a celebrity can be described as follows: do not imitate anyone, turn movements into music. By the way, in Maya Plisetskaya’s dance, the sketches made by her predecessors were never seen. The ballerina always responded to the solo of musical instruments and emphasized accents, sometimes with a brow movement or a look. Maya Mikhailovna’s dancing career turned out to be surprisingly long - she left the stage only at the age of 65.

Further career of Maya Plisetskaya

Ballerina not only performed on the stage of the theater, but also assumed the role of director. In the Bolshoi Theater, she acted as choreographer for Rodion Shchedrin’s Anna Karenina (1972, with N. I. Ryzhenko and V. V. Smirnov-Golovanov), The Seagull (1980), The Lady with the Dog (1985). ). And she herself performed in them the main women's parties.
Ballerina Maya Plisetskaya and her brother AzariaBallerina Maya Plisetskaya and her brother Azaria
Ballerina’s dance style has become a generally accepted canon. An unexpected turn in the fate of Prima happened in 1983. She was offered to be the artistic director of the ballet of the Rome Opera and Ballet Theater.In this post, Maya was a year and a half, periodically came to Rome. She set up “Raymond” for an open stage in the Termes of Caracalla, presented her “Isadora” and organized “Fedra”.
In 1985, Plisetskaya was awarded the title Hero of Socialist Labor. And from 1988 to 1990 she headed the Spanish National Ballet in Madrid. For the Spanish troupe, she resumed the ballet “Futile Precaution” by Peter Gertel (choreographer - Alexander Gorsky) and introduced “Carmen Suite” into the repertoire. Here she began a collaboration with Montserrat Caballe. At the suggestion of the latter, Plisetskaya performed in the staging of opera-ballet Giacomo Puccini "Vilisa". The ballerina also danced “The Dying Swan” to the accompaniment of the live voice of an opera singer.
Maya Plisetskaya and her husband Rodion ShchedrinMaya Plisetskaya and her husband Rodion Shchedrin
In 1988, Maya Plisetskaya appeared in the title role, staged especially for her by the artistic director of the flamenco troupe José Granero, in the ballet “Maria Stewart” Emilio de Diego.
In January 1990, Plisetskaya danced her last performance at the Bolshoi Theater. They became the "Lady with a dog." The ballerina had to leave the Bolshoi Theater because of disagreements with the artistic director, continuing from the very beginning of her career.
But the ballerina did not leave the stage, but continued to participate in concerts and give master classes. In the 1990s, Plisetskaya continued her collaboration with the world's outstanding choreographers: with the “Marseilles Ballet” by Roland Petit and the “Ballet of the XX Century” by Maurice Bejart. In 1992, in the Espace Pierre Cardin Theater, Plisetskaya sang the main part at the premiere of the ballet Mad of Chaillot to the music of Shchedrin. And she celebrated her 70th anniversary on the stage by performing the number “Ave Maya”, staged for her by Maurice Bejart.
Maya Plisetskaya did not have children, she gave herself to the balletMaya Plisetskaya did not have children, she gave herself to the ballet
Despite her advanced age, the ballet dancer was active in social activities. In 1994, she organized an international ballet competition called Maya and was the chairman of the jury of this competition. A year later, she was elected honorary president of the Imperial Russian Ballet troupe.

Personal life of Maya Plisetskaya

As a star of the Bolshoi Theater, Maya was surrounded by many men. She wrote about her novels with ballet soloists Vyacheslav Golubin and Esfendyar Kashani. Ballerina was married twice.
Maya Plisetskaya and Maris LiepaMaya Plisetskaya and Maris Liepa
Her first husband, Maris Liepa, was also a soloist and dancer.They were married in 1956, but divorced after three months.
With her second spouse Rodion Shchedrin, Maya met Lily Brik. The ballerina and the composer did not seem very interested in each other. Plisetskaya was seven years older than Shchedrin. Only three years after they met, they began to meet and spent holidays in Karelia. And in the fall of 1958 they got married.
Maya Plisetskaya and her husband Rodion ShchedrinMaya Plisetskaya and her husband Rodion Shchedrin
“He extended my creative life by at least twenty-five years,” said Plisetskaya about her husband. And the spouse supported her in everything and defended her interests before the Soviet government. Thanks to his efforts, the prima got the opportunity to travel abroad.
True, despite the happy family life, the couple never had children. Shchedrin protested, but Maya did not dare to have a baby and leave the stage. Her husband justified her, saying that the ballet provides a wonderful physique, and after giving birth the figure of any woman inevitably changes. Many ballerinas, he argued, lost their profession because of pregnancy.

The last years of Maya Plisetskaya’s life

In 1993, Maya Plisetskaya became an honorary professor at Moscow State University.
A year later, she released the autobiographical book "I, Maya Plisetskaya."The next book was published only in 2007 in the form of memoirs “Thirteen years later: Angry notes in thirteen chapters”. Three years later, she published the book "Reading my life ...".
Illustration for the book “I, Maya Plisetskaya”Illustration for the book “I, Maya Plisetskaya”
And in 2000, as a result of a survey of the Public Opinion Foundation, she was chosen the person of the year in the field of science, culture and art. So popular love has manifested itself.
From the beginning of the 90s and until the last days of life, her prima and her husband lived in Munich. There they were forced to be due to health problems. The doctors who helped Maya Mikhailovna stay in shape were found only in Germany. Also in 1993, the couple received Lithuanian citizenship.
Ballet dancer Maya Plisetskaya gained world fameBallet dancer Maya Plisetskaya gained world fame
Plisetskaya herself regretted that she rarely had to go back home in recent years. She occasionally attended ballet competitions and appeared on the anniversaries of her colleagues in the workshop.

Death of Maya Plisetskaya

Maya Mikhailovna Plisetskaya died on May 2, 2015 in Munich, in the 90th year of life, from a massive myocardial infarction. The farewell to the ballerina was held in Germany, and according to the will, the ashes of Plisetskaya will be joined together with the ashes of Rodion Shchedrin, after his death, and spread around Russia.
Maya Plisetskaya's death was a loss to the whole world.
Originally, on November 20, 2015, the Bolshoi Theater was to host a creative evening on the occasion of the anniversary of the star, its 90th anniversary. Now, on this day, a memorial evening for the great ballerina will be organized.

Maya Plisetskaya Awards

Maya Plisetskaya has countless awards. In 1959 she was awarded the title of People's Artist of the USSR. She is also Honored Artist and People's Artist of the RSFSR. In 1985 she was awarded the title Hero of Socialist Labor.
Maya Plisetskaya lived ballet until her last daysMaya Plisetskaya lived ballet until her last days
Ballerina is a full holder of the Order for Services to the Fatherland, Commander of the Order of Arts and Literature (France), Commander of the Order of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas, has the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Legion of Honor (France), the Lenin Prize, the Grand Commander of the Order of Merit Lithuania ”, Order of the Rising Sun, III degree (Japan), Order of Isabella Catholic.

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