Maya Plisetskaya was born November 20 1925 in Moscow in a Jewish family. Her father was executed falling a victim to Stalin repressions. Her mother was sent to labor camp for 3 years and Maya lived with her aunt. She was a promising ballerina from the start, due to her long arms, bright red hair and the height of her jumps. Maya claims that she felt the Anti-Semitic treatment by the Bolshoi Theatre as she was not allowed to tour outside the country until the government changed in 1959. She married Rodion Shchedrin and they are still happily together living in Germany.
Did You Know?
In 1958 Maya was honored the title of the People’s Artist of the USSR and in 1960 she was proclaimed prima ballerina absoluta of the Bolshoi Theatre. She was also awarded numerous other awards and titles for her talent.
Other interesting facts:
Perhaps her most famous roles are in Swan Lake (1947) and Sleeping Beauty (1961). She presides at the annual international ballet competition, called “Maya”. Maya doesn’t have children, explaining that between the ballet and motherhood she chose the first one.