Who is she the great and unsurpassed Maya Plisetskaya

Maya Plisetskaya is not only a legend in the world of ballet, but also a standard of femininity and grace. Her whole life is a dance and a theater stage. The great ballerina advised her students to dance as much as possible – then they would not worry before going on stage. Dance for her was a natural state, and she was destined to become a famous ballerina.

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The birth of a new Star

Maya Plisetskaya was born in Moscow in 1925 in the family of Mikhail Emmanuilovich Plisetskiy, who held high government posts, and Rakhili Mikhailovna Messerer, the famous silent film actress.

In the Messerer family, many were associated with the art world, especially theater. And, thanks to her aunt Shulamith, Maya fell in love with ballet, and was able to enter the choreographic school.

The girl had amazing musicality and plasticity, the future ballet star performed a lot, being a first-grade student.

Despite the successes in the art world, the family was not all so rosy: in 1937, Maya’s father was arrested, and in 1938 he was shot. Her mother and younger brother will be sent to Kazakhstan. To prevent the girl and her brother from being sent to an orphanage, Maya is adopted by Aunt Shulamith, and her brother is adopted by an uncle.

Maya Plisetskaya with mom and dad
Maya Plisetskaya with mom and dad

But this difficult situation will not prevent the young ballerina from successfully honing her skills and dancing on stage. Then, when Maya becomes a famous ballerina, she will face political intrigues.

The magic of Maya Plisetskaya’s dance

Maya Plisetskaya fascinated with her dance. Her movements were surprisingly flexible and graceful. Someone believed that there was too much eroticism in her performances. The ballerina herself believed that eroticism is by nature: either a person has it or does not. And everything else is faked.

Maya Plisetskaya is also known for her “longevity” on stage: she went out to perform ballet steps even at the age of 70.

“I never liked to train and rehearse. I think that in the end it extended my stage career: I had unstrained legs. “

Path to glory

In 1943, after graduating from the Moscow Choreographic School, the girl joined the troupe of the Bolshoi Tetra. At that time, the artistic director of the theater was Maya’s uncle, Asaf Messerer.

Maya Plisetskaya with her uncle
Maya Plisetskaya with her uncle

But this did not make the girl’s path to fame easier – on the contrary, it made it more difficult. My uncle decided that it would be wrong to nominate his niece to the troupe, and therefore sent her to the corps de ballet. Then young Maya expressed a violent protest, and she went to performances without makeup and danced on half-toes.


But gradually her talent was seen, and more complex roles began to be trusted, and then she became the prima of the Bolshoi Theater, replacing Galina Ulanova in 1960. Her roles in Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and other productions have always caused overwhelming success and delight among the public. Maya always came up with a new dance when she went out to bow: none were like the previous one.

“What is not important in art. The most important thing is how. It is necessary to reach everyone, to touch the soul – then it’s real, otherwise there’s no other way. ”


But, despite the talent and love of fans, some were biased towards Maya: an intelligent background, tours abroad, important statesmen as guests of honor at her performances – all this became the reason that Plisetskaya was considered an English spy.

Maya Plisetskaya as a swan

Maya was under constant surveillance, she was not allowed to travel abroad – Plisetskaya found herself isolated from world ballet.
That period was difficult in Maya’s life: she was reproached for dressing too brightly and luxuriously, advised not to attend various receptions (and there were many invitations), and many acquaintances stopped communicating with her.

It was then, at one of the evenings hosted by Lilya Brik, Maya Plisetskaya met her future husband, composer Rodion Shchedrin. Later, the famous ballerina will say that “he saved her from everything.”

Maya was friends with Lilya Brik, and the famous muse of Mayakovsky wanted to help Plisetskaya: together with her sister and her husband, they wrote a letter to N.S. Khrushchev with a request for the “rehabilitation” of the ballerina. Then Rodion Shchedrin used all his influence and connections to get this petition to the addressee. And fortunately for Maya, she was no longer considered an English spy.

Alliance or love?

At the Bolshoi Theater, some did not believe in the love between Maya and Shchedrin, considering this union as a beneficial alliance. After all, the famous composer wrote many parts in which his wife was assigned the leading role. There were many rumors about the ballerina’s relationship, and this is not surprising: sensuality, femininity and extraordinary character – all this could not fail to conquer men’s hearts.

Maya Plisetskaya Rodion Shchedrin
Maya Plisetskaya and Rodion Shchedrin

When Maya was asked whether she was familiar with such a feeling as unrequited love, she replied that she was not.

The famous ballerina did not like to talk about the relationship that was before meeting with Rodion Shchedrin. But the prima of the Bolshoi Theater had many fans. And one of them was Senator Robert Kennedy.

When the senator learned that their birthdays are one day, he presented her with a gold bracelet. And when the ballerina was late for the meeting, Kennedy presented her with a Tiffany alarm clock. For a long time, the porcelain flowers presented by him stood on the table near Plisetskaya.

Plisetskaya herself spoke of him like this:

“With me, Robert Kennedy was romantic, sublime, noble and completely pure. No claims, no frivolity … And I never gave him any reason for that. “

Still, love is for her husband and ballet

Rodion Shchedrin always accompanied his beloved, and was in the shadow of her glory. And Maya was very grateful to him for the fact that he did not envy her success, but rejoiced and supported her.

Shchedrin admired and touched everything that was in his wife, for him she became his Carmen. Then, when the ballerina left the stage, she already accompanied her husband on all his trips.

She lived in ballet, she could not be outside the art world. She possessed amazing musicality, grace – it seemed that she was born to become a legendary ballerina.

Throughout her life, she was able to maintain an interest in everything new, her sensuality and love for ballet.

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