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Maya Pliset­skay, 89, renowned bal­le­rina who danced at Bol­shoi

- As­so­ci­ated Press Musicians · Celebrities · Moscow · Germany · Vladimir Putin · Mikhail Baryshnikov · Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky · Maya Plisetskaya · Todd Terry · Rodion Shchedrin

MOSCOW — Maya Pliset­skaya, re­garded as one of the great­est bal­leri­nas of the 20th cen­tury and whose ca­reer at the Bol­shoi Theater spanned more than 35 years, has died at age 89.

Bol­shoi direc­tor Vladimir Urin told the state news agency Tass that Pliset­skaya died in Ger­many of a heart attack on Satur­day.

Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin is­sued a mes­sage of con­do­lence and trib­utes came from across the dance world. Mikhail Barysh­nikov said on Face- book that she was “one of the great­est dancers of our time … beau­ti­ful and grace­ful.”

Pliset­skaya was renowned for in­tense per­for­mances that con­trasted with the ethe­real style of many other dancers, es­pe­cially in Tchaikovsk­y’s “Swan Lake.”

Barysh­nikov pointed to an­other role. “Al­ways re­mem­ber her amaz­ing Dy­ing Swan from 1959 and 1986,” he wrote, not­ing that in the lat­ter she was al­ready 61 years old.

Pliset­skaya joined the Bol­shoi troupe in 1943 at the age of 18 and stayed un­til 1990 when she left amid dis­putes with its direc­tor.

How­ever, she re­turned to its stage for gala ap­pear­ances, in­clud­ing a 75th birth­day per­for­mance in 2000.

She is sur­vived by her hus­band, com­poser Ro­dion Shchedrin. Fu­neral plans were not im­me­di­ately determined.

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