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Maya Plisetskaya

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I jus read an article online about Maya Plisetskaya. It mentioned that her latest performance (I assume it was the last?) was in 1996, she was at the age of 71. Does anyone know anything about that particular performance? Where and what did she perform? Is she retired from the stage completely or is she into teaching?

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I don't know specifically about her Final Performance, but I do know she danced Dying Swan when she was well into her 60s. Saw it -- twice. Both occasions were at Martha Graham galas. The only times I saw Maya, and the only times I bought tickets to Graham. On the first of those occasions, she also danced a solo by Ruth St. Denis. She was swathed in a sari, holding a candle, looking for all the world like pre-Shade Nikiya. I loved it!

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Ah! After a bit of digging around online, I found some "latest" information about Plisetskaya. :helpsmilie:

Maya Plisetskaya Master Class October 1997


Article issued in 2000 (in russian) [anyone knows Russian? :wacko: ]


I, Maya Plisetskaya.(Excerpt)

Dance Magazine, Oct, 2001


Maya Plisetskaya - Biography

from The International Maya Plisetskaya and Rodion Shchedrin Foundation's website

(sort of a time line up to yr 2000)


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maya plisetskaya performed a special number created by maurice bejart in a gala to celebrate her 75th anniversary at the bolshoi theatre.

the number was called "ave maya" using the famous "ave maria" music. it was a short piece in which plisetskaya had two fans in her hands. it was a choreography based on hand and arm movements. plisetskaya was extraordinary and needless to say,she received a standing ovation

jose manuel

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In one month, 20 November 2005, Maya Plisetskaya will celebrate her 80th birthday. Here in New York we are reminded of her every time we visit Lincoln Center, as she stares down upon us from the great Chagall Mural "The Triumph of Music." It is the red one, to our left as we face The Met. She had visited Chagall in Paris sometime before the Met opened and had no idea that he was to include her in the mural. From her autobiography:

(In 1968, on her way to rehearsal at the new Met) "...I stop in my tracks in the plaza by the fountain. I look up. Chagall's tall murals. I look at the left one, reddish orange. A flying sunny angel with a trumpet, a marvelous Ivan Tsarevich playing a green cello, birds of paradise, a two-headed creature with a mandolin at its equine chin, a glazed violin and bow on a blue-sparkling tree. In the top left corner, a colorful flock of ballerinas... one is certainly me, pelvis forward, tight as a bow string, arms behind her back, feet in second position. I did something like that for Chagall to the Mendelssohn Concerto. And Mark Zakharovich had captured that moment."

Great celebrations are planned in Moscow, as reported elsewhere in this forum. Next February 12, London's Royal Opera House will have a star-studded gala, with Maya present, in her honor:


Does anyone know if there are any festivities planned in the United States?

I was lucky enough to see her in some of those New York visits, including all the works shown in these photos (click on each photo to make it larger):


Translating: 1, 2 Isadora, created on her by Maurice Bejart

3 Bejart's Bolero

4 - 6 Carmen Suite, created on her by Alberto Alonso

7 La Rose Malade (Adagietto from Mahler's 5th Symphony), created on her by Roland Petit

8, 9 The Dying Swan (As an encore she repeated the whole thing!).

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Re: the Royal Ballet's tribute:

The website says there will be a "SPECIAL APPEARANCE BY MAYA PLISETSKAYA"

The casting in selections from "the world's favourite ballet repertory" is listed as:

Darcey Bussell

Leanne Benjamin

Miyako Yoshida

Viacheslav Samodurov

Ulyana Lopatkina

Svetlana Zakharova

Farukh Ruzimatov

Andrei Uvarov

Igor Zelensky

Ilse Liepa

Galina Stepanenko

Marianela Nuñez

Thiago Soares

Irek Mukhamedov

Alina Cojocaru

Mara Galeazzi

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I'm not likely to make it to London, so on Nov. 20, I will make a special point of pausing before the mural. I never studied it closely enough to recognize la Plisetskaya.

:) , but ever so slightly. About 20 years ago, I wrote a set of lyrics to "If I Only Had a Heart." They were inspired when the accompanist played it for grands battements, and I heard "I may dance like a camel,/But I'd be just like vanHamel/If I only had technique." The concluding lines of the last verse are "Would I dare to aspire/To be great as Plisetskaya/If I only had technique?" I truly doubt it would be a reasonable goal.

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I saw Maya Plisetskaya live on the City Center stage in 1995 as part of a 70th birthday gala. She danced the Dying Swan and a section of Bejart's Isadora. The Dying Swan was danced on pointe with firm legs and feet and magical arms that linger in the memory. The bourrees never wobbled. Her interpretation was very idiosyncratic. Her Swan was a tough old bird who was raging against the dying of the light - almost defying death. She can be seen doing the same solo on the DVD "Essential Ballet" during the Red Square outdoor performance section.

At 70 she was still a slim, vibrant and glamourous woman who radiated energy and vitality.

She supposedly had a partner step on her foot sometime in the early nineties and had some problems after that. I don't know how much she danced after 1995.

Faux Pas

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For a LINK to the Pravda article on the Bolshoi's plans for an 80th birthday celebration:

The Bolshoi plans a celebration of Maya Plisetskaya's 80th birthday, reports Pravda.
The program of the festival, which will take place on Bolshoi Theatre's New Stage on November 16-20, includes "Swan Lake," "Don Quixote," and "Carmen Suite" - the performances, which made Maya Plisetskaya a global star of ballet. This time, however, the role of Carmen will be played by Bolshoi's prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova, one of the biggest stars of the new generation of Russian ballet.

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Here is a collection of 40 pictures of the Assoluta, the first at age two.


(first click near the top center: К юбилею Майи Плисецкой

Then click on Фотогалерея)

Here she is in two sets from the 1996 Mikkeli Festival.

Bejart's Isadora:


and Bejart's Kurozuka:


In the latter ballet she plays the role Bejart created for the sublime Kabuki onnagata Bando Tamasaburo in 1988. Her partner is Patrick Dupond, who was also the partner of Tamasaburo.

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from Today's NY Times:

  Russia: Happy Birthday, Maya

  The 80th birthday of the Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya is being observed all across Moscow this week. Posters and banners at every turn in the city center announce the Bolshoi Theater festival in her honor that was to open last night with "Swan Lake," her signature ballet.

And here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/17/arts/17arts.html

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Thanks for the link, Violin Concerto. One typo in the article, however. The dance she is to perform is Bejart's "Ave Maya", not "Ave Maria" (the music to which she dances). You may see her dancing this piece in the November 12 post on this thread. Isn't it strange that there seems to be no event honoring her in this country?

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Two weeks late, on Sunday December 4, CUNY-TV will have two programs featuring film of Plisetskaya.

2:00PM - 03:20PM

FILM: City Cinematheque: Stars of the Russian Ballet

(The best in world cinema is showcased in this regular series. Each film is followed by lively discussion with scholars, film professionals and critics....)

(1953/Russia, 81 min., color, ballet) A compilation of the best in Russian ballet. Featured dancers include Galina Ulanova, Maya Plisetskaya, Natalya Dudinskaya, Yura Zhdanov, Konstantin Sergeyev. The solo dancers are supported by the corps of the Bolshoi Ballet and the Chorus and Orchestra of the Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theatre. Distrib.: Corinth Films.

This will be followed by

03:20PM - 04:45PM

Ballet: The Little Humpbacked Horse

(1962/Russia, 84 min., color, ballet) Cast: Maya Plisetskaya, Vladimir Vasiliev, Alla Schcherbinina, Aleksandr Radunsky. Dir.: Aleksandr Radunsky. Music by Rodion Shchedrin.

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I just recently started reading "I, Maya Plisetskaya"--her autobiography; it's a fascinating look at her life in the late soviet union, published in '01. If you're a big fan of hers, I highly recommend it...it's an intriguing look at the play between politics and the arts.

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Happy Golden Anniversary, Assoluta!

On October 2, 1958 Maya Plisetskaya and composer Rodion Shchedrin were married.

Izvestia has a wonderful article, including five photos, on the marriage begun in part by an offer of getting a better apartment, that has turned out so beautifully both creatively and personally. Later this season there will be a Shchedrin premiere at Carnegie Hall, and as the article states she always accompanies her husband to such events. I've already purchased my tickets!


[added a few minutes later] It seems Mr. Shchedrin has just published an autobigraphy. Here is a long extract where he speaks of their courtship (warnings that marrying her could destroy his reputation), early marriage (KGB bugged their bed room), and how the marriage has worked out:

I do not know how much the Lord will let us still live in this magical land. But I am immensely grateful to heaven and fate for our meeting and life together. We know happiness. We know love. We know Tenderness .


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