Academy of Arts appreciates the life's work of Maya Plisetskaya

"Maya Plisetskaya - a révérence" - with this exhibition currently ongoing in Berlin, the Academy of Arts bows before of the artistic life work of one of the most fascinating ballet dancers of the 20th century.

"Maya Plisetskaya - a révérence" - with this exhibition currently ongoing in Berlin, the Academy of Arts bows before of the artistic life work of one of the most fascinating ballet dancers of the 20th century. Through the exhibition which is a part of the series "Political bodies", the Academy pays tribute to the great masters of dance, who through their creativity and work, and in spite of the difficult times of political and social upheaval, developed a new dance language and opened completely new perspectives in the field of dance to the coming generations.

Maya Plisetskaya matches like no other in the thematic arc of this exhibition series. Her whole artistic life has been affected by the government of the Soviet times and leaved its mark on her. This totalitarian system, to which she was delivered over decades, demanded much from her to defend her right to self-determination and freedom of artistic development. Plisetskaya, who was celebrated in her home as a national superstar and shown in front of international statesmen as a phenomenon of the century, was not allowed to perform in abroad for many years. Her private life was severely restricted under the constant surveillance of the Soviet secret service KGB. "I am pleased that today's generation can not believe how we lived [...] what seventy-four years domination of Leninism and Stalinism could do with the people. How this time has leaved its mark on them and turned everything upside down! Even in the arts. The simplest things had to be fought and everything had to be proved. Even in such an innocent field of art like ballet. It's wonderful, that this nightmare is ended and all, please God, is over." (From the preface of the German paperback edition "I, Maija" by Maya Plisetskaya, Bergish Gladbach: Bastei Luebbe Bastion, 2006)

The exhibition particularly draws the attention to the three best-known roles in the rich professional life of the prima ballerina assoluta: "The Dying Swan", "Carmen" and "Bolero". The carefully selected film recordings, manuscripts, photographs, programs and international trophies from the Maya Plisetskaya archive of the Academy of Arts are of extraordinary interest. Also the swan costume as well as two costumes specially designed for Maya Plisetskaya by Pierre Cardin can be admired. A separate part of the exhibition is dedicated to the successful cooperation with her husband, the famous Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin. Thanks to the successful musical settings of his dramatic works Shchedrin has strongly influenced the dance language of his wife and inspired her to new forms of expression.

The exhibition "Political bodies: Maya Plisetskaya - a reverence" is open to visitors in Berlin from 19th February to 5th April 2009 in the premises of the Academy of Arts (Hanseatenweg 10) between 11 and 20 o'clock (Monday closed). For more information about the exhibition please see the homepage of the Academy of Arts www.adk.de