Maya Plisetskaya: The Forever Swan

Maya Plisetskaya

Legendary Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya passed away of a heart attack in Germany last night. She was 89 and survived by her husband Rodion Shchedrin, a world-renowned composer. Read the news here:

Born in Moscow on November 20, 1925, Plisetskaya was one of only two ballerinas in the Soviet Union who received the honorable title of “Prima Ballerina Assoluta,” the other being Galina Ulanova.

Plisetskaya  joined the Bolshoi Theater at the age of 18 and continued to perform until she was 65. Her delicate performance of “The Dying Swan” in Tokyo at the “high” age of 61 left an indelible impression on audience all over the world.

In real life, not only was she NOT dying but thriving for almost another 30 years, choreographing and giving master classes. Not so long ago, I saw a picture of her attending a performance featuring Diana Vishneva, Russian ballet diva of our times, and the love she shared so generously with the star of the new generation.

Besides “The Dying Swan,” her dancing in “Carmen Suite” and “Bolero” were phenomenal.

Here is a documentary of Plisetskaya made in 1964 in the Soviet Union, Plisetskaya Dances (DVD available here).

And here is something more recent: a TV program celebrating her 80th birthday:

Because of her vitality and longevity, many people in the ballet world actually never thought she would die!

Plisetskaya a exemplifies how a true artist can make an indelible impact in millions of people’s hearts. Her beauty is beyond society’s limited definitions. It emanates directly from her soul–ageless and timeless. It is very touching to know how she has dedicated her entire life to artistic work in lieu of raising children. She has lived a long and fulfilling life. This ballet star will forever shine in the sky!

Related blog:

Gramilano: “Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya dies at 89”