I, Maya Plisetskaya

I, Maya Plisetskaya

Maya Plisetskaya, one of the world’s foremost dancers, rose to become a prima ballerina of Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet after an early life filled with tragedy and loss. In this spirited memoir, Plisetskaya reflects on her personal and professional odyssey, presenting a unique view of the life of a Soviet artist during the troubled period from the late 1930s to the 1990s.

Plisetskaya recounts the execution of her father in the Great Terror and her mother’s exile to the Gulag. She describes her admission to the Bolshoi in 1943, the roles she performed there, and the endless petty harassments she endured, from both envious colleagues and Party officials. Refused permission for six years to tour with the company, Plisetskaya eventually performed all over the world, working with such noted choreographers as Roland Petit and Maurice Béjart. She recounts the tumultuous events she lived through and the fascinating people she met—among them the legendary ballet teacher Agrippina Vaganova, George Balanchine, Frank Sinatra, Rudolf Nureyev, and Dmitri Shostakovich. And she provides fascinating details about testy cocktail-party encounters with Khrushchev, tours abroad when her meager per diem allowance brought her close to starvation, and KGB plots to capitalize on her friendship with Robert Kennedy. Gifted, courageous, and brutally honest, Plisetskaya brilliantly illuminates the world of Soviet ballet during an era that encompasses both repression and cultural détente.

Still prima ballerina assoluta with the Bolshoi Ballet, Maya Plisetskaya also travels around the world performing and lecturing. At the Bolshoi’s gala celebrating her 75th birthday, President Vladimir Putin presented her with Russia’s highest civilian honor, the medal for service to the Russian state, second degree. Tim Scholl is professor of Russian language and literature at Oberlin College. Antonina W. Bouis is the prize-winning translator of more than fifty books, including fiction, nonfiction, and memoirs by such figures as Andrei Sakharov, Elena Bonner, and Dmitri Shostakovich.

Title:I, Maya Plisetskaya
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780300088571
Format Type:

    I, Maya Plisetskaya Reviews

  • Arevik Badalyan

    Absolutely adorable, especially the parts where she wrote about her life with her husband, Rodion Shchedrin....

  • Georgia Reed

    The truth behind the Iron Curtain of ballet's greatest mother country, Russia. I know ballet didn't officially start here, but let's face it: Russia OWNS ballet now. And, Maya P. is a goddess, a warri...

  • Askorbinka

    Непростой она человек, но каким ей ещё быть. Вряд ли бывали примы-очаровашки, не тот вид искусства. Пишет очень...

  • Judith

    A lovely lady, and a lovely story of her life in ballet, and in communist Russia....

  • Heidi

    Huomaan olevani Elämäkertoja Neuvosto-Venäjältä -putkessa. Olen lukenut tänä kesänä molemmat Haapasalot ja nyt tämän taipuisista käsivarsistaan tunnetun tanssijan elämäkerran. Vuonna 192...

  • inedible plant

    This book was a little bit boring for me. It was erratic and felt more like a series of remiscences than a book. It had no clear outline and she kept writing about her 50s when the chapter was suppose...

  • Diana Pinchuk

    I was completely amazed by this book: it's so sincere, catching and sometimes shocking. I tried to read it as much as possible and sometimes couldn't stop till the deep night. A couple of times I stop...

  • Katerina

    Удивительная, невероятная, прекрасная женщина!...

  • Dina

    A truly inspiring story of a talented woman, who despite the overwhelming reining communist regime succeedes in making a brilliant career. The societal background is well-explained even to the Western...

  • Anastasia

    Читается очень тяжело. Майя Плисецкая всю жизнь вела дневник, в котором подробно записывала кто, когда и скол...