Maya Plisetskaya

Maya Mikhailovna Plisetskaya (Russian Майя Михайловна Плисецкая, scientific transliteration Majja Michajlovna Pliseckaja; born November 20, 1925 in Moscow) is a former Russian ballet dancer and choreographer.


Maya Plisetskaya comes from a Russian Jewish ballet family. Her uncle Asaf Messerer was a renowned ballet teacher, who influenced the early Soviet ballet extent by his students. Her aunt Sulamith Messerer was prima ballerina at the Bolshoi Ballet and traveled nor the age of 81 years as a ballet teacher around the world.

The early years of the Plisetskaya were marked by Stalinism. Her father disappeared without a trace in 1937. His death was not confirmed until 50 years later. The family problems with the regime ensured that the later prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Ballet was not allowed to go on foreign tours. In 1943, she joined the Bolshoi Ballet, which toured abroad many times after the Second World War, but in 1959 she went for the first time at the age of 34 years on a U.S. tour with the Bolshoi Theatre. The Dying Swan was her starring role, which she danced several thousands of times. At home and abroad, she was considered the definitive successor to the legendary Anna Pavlova. The greatest choreographers they staged, among them Roland Petit and Maurice Béjart. Her career took an unusually long 60 years for a ballet dancer. The last performance she gave in 1996 at the age of 71 years.

Maya Plisetskaya was in 1959 awarded the People's Artist of the USSR. She received the 2005 Prince of Asturias Award, the 2006 Praemium Imperiale ( "Nobel Prize of the Arts ") in the field of film / theater and on 21 December 2006 the Order of 1st degree for their outstanding contribution in the development of choreography in Russia and in the world. She is married to the composer Rodion Shchedrin since 1958.

Own choreographies

  • Anna Karenina by Tolstoy, music by Rodion Shchedrin, 1972
  • The Seagull by Chekhov, music by Rodion Shchedrin, 1980
  • The Lady with the Dog by Chekhov, music by Rodion Shchedrin, 1985