Maya Plisetskaya, Prima Ballerina Assoluta of the Bolshoi Ballet, danced Maurice Bejart’s Bolero set to the famous Ravel score in 1975. Plisetskaya created a stunning theatrical experience. What makes the piece so compelling is that although Plisetskaya may be accompanied by dozens of other dancers mirroring her movement, the first and only focus is on the prima ballerina herself.
Maya Plisetskaya- Bolero
In 1943, at the age of eighteen, she graduated from the choreographic school and joined the Bolshoi Ballet, in 1960. Plisetskaya took over Galina Ulanova’s title as Prima Ballerina Assoluta of the Bolshoi; where she performed until 1990. Although she toured extensively during the same years that other dancers defected, including Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova and Mikhail Baryshnikov, “Plisetskaya always returned to Russia,” writes historian Tim Scholl. The Soviet Union treated her as a favored cultural emissary, as “the dancer who did not defect.”
The Dying Swan, with encore (1976)
Maya Plisetskaya (at age 51) performed The Dying Swan in Tokyo. After the fourth curtain call she danced it again- better.
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The Fountain of Bakhchisarai- Galina Ulanova and Maya Plisetskaya