20 November 2015 would have been Maya Plisetskaya's 90th birthday. The great Russian ballerina, who died on 2 May this year, will be remembered in a series of events in Moscow and St Petersburg.
On 18 November her friend, and musical director of the Mariinsky Theatre, Valery Gergiev gave a concert at Moscow's Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in her memory, with a programme that included Carmen Suite, an adaptation of Bizet's themes by Rodion Shchedrin, Plisetskaya's husband. At St Petersburg the conductor will pay homage to her memory again on 27 December with a concert which includes the participation of another dear friend of Plisetskaya's, Diana Vishneva. On the same day, in the chamber theatre named after Shchedrin in the new Mariinsky II building, will begin a series of films, TV programmes and documentaries featuring Plisetskaya.
From 19 November to 20 December in the Bolshoi Theatre, and in the Bolshoi's New Stage from 19 November to 11 December, there will be photographic exhibitions celebrating Plisetskaya's career. Lydia Harina, the Director of the Museum of the Bolshoi Theatre, says,
The exhibition is divided into three parts: ‘Plisetskaya at the Bolshoi', ‘Plisetskaya and partners', and more recent photos of Plisetskaya. 90% of the photos will come from the Bolshoi's archives.
There will be a special focus on the ballets created together with her husband, Carmen Suite, The Little Humpbacked Horse, Anna Karenina, The Seagull and The Lady with the Dog, as well as Roland Petit's La rose malade, and Maurice Bejart's Isadora and Ave Maya.
In the Bolshoi's main theatre there will also be the opportunity to see her costumes from Swan Lake, Spartacus, Romeo and Juliet, Anna Karenina and The Seagull.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.