Mrs Barbara Miklič Türk
Maya Plisetskaya, often called Prima ballerina assoluta,
is the icon of the 20th century ballet art. Her glamorous career of a dancer
and a choreographer has stretched for more than 60 years. Born into a family
of great ballet dancers, she inherited the natural talent for ballet art
with a miraculous feeling for balance, the ability to make long steps and
high jumps, and above all, a unique ability to create a fantastic impression
of floating. This extraordinary artist excels in inborn musicality,
passionate character and unbelievable ability to express her artistic soul
Maya Plisetskaya is much more than a ballerina – she is an
actress in a ballet theatre. Her outstanding career started in 1943 when she
graduated from the Moscow Choreography School and immediately became a
member of the ensemble of the Bolshoi Theatre. She has danced classical
roles, starting with Odette-Odilia and Kitri, and developed her own style.
Maya Plisetskaya brought new freshness to the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre
also with new ballet works, devoted to her and written especially for her.
Undoubtedly, her role of Carmen made her famous all over the world and the
audience still remembers it. Other roles she danced at the Bolshoi Theatre
include: Myrtha, Giselle, Raymonda (1945), Zarema (1948), Agina (Spartacus,
1971), Phrygia (Spartacus, 1962), Juliette (1961), princess Aurora (The
Sleeping Beauty, 1963) and Mekhmeneh (The Legend of Love, 1965). A
particularly important chapter in Maya Plisetskaya's are leading roles in
the works by her husband, a reputable Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin, and
the following should be mentioned: Anna Karenina (1972),
(The Seagull, 1980) and Ana
Sergejevna (The Lady with the Lapdog, 1985).
In the period from 1983 to 1984 Maya Plisetskaya led the Rome
Opera Ballet, and from 1987 to 1990 the Spanish National Ballet of Madrid.
She was the head of her own ballet competition in St. Petersburg from 1994
to 1998, and she is still presiding juries of famous world competitions and
conducting master classes all over the world.
In addition to a series of honours and awards she received in
the time of the former Soviet Union, Maya Plisetskaya was awarded a gold
medal at the festival in Budapest (1949), Ana Pavlova Prize by the Paris
Academy of Dancing (1962), Pro Finlandia Medal (1968), Gold Medal for
Service to the Arts awarded by Spanish King Juan Carlos (1990), Lenin Prize
(1967, 1976, 1985), Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1984), Spanish Queen
Isabella's Big Cross (1991). In 1985 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate
by the Sorbonne, Paris, and in 1993 she became a Doctor honoris causa at the
Lomonosov University in Moscow.