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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ekaterina Maximova dies

Mel Johnson

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This morning, the Bolshoi Theatre announced that Ekaterina Maximova, age 71, died yesterday.

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What a sad loss to the ballet world - I saw her dance Tatiana in Onegin in London when she was 50. If I hadn't known she was 50 I would not have believed it - she danced and acted like a young girl and it was such an amazing performance and so moving that I have never forgotten it. It was one of those performances that you store away in a box in your mind to think about later.

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I, too, saw her dance with Stars of the Bolshoi in the late '80s or early '90s- amazing! Having studied with one of Vasiliev's teachers, Mansur Kamaletdinov, he had shared stories about Maximova and Vasiliev during his seminars. What a loss. Thankfully many high quality videos remain of her artistry.

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This is very sad news.

I grew up watching old tapes of her performances and it's so sad to hear she is gone.

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One of my favorite dance books growing up was "Days With Ulanova" by Albert E. Kahn. In this book, there is a wonderful sequence of photos of Galina Ulanova coaching up-and-coming Bolshoi dancer Ekaterina Maximova in "Giselle" which ends with photos of the tech rehearsal, performance and final congratulatory kiss from the legendary ballerina. The chapter is called "Precious Heritage". I used to study those photos with great delight as a teenager! Maximova became legendary herself...I am very sorry to read of her passing.

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She was beautiful in "Bolshoi '67" as well. She passed on the "precious heritage" to others, including Svetlana Lunkina. There are some gorgeous pictures of her on the Ballerina Gallery .

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Watch the video at the bottom of The Ballerina Gallery page..... :shrug:

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Wow folks, thanks for the tips. There's one pic -- of her on the floor, elbow on knee, head on hand -- reminds me a bit of Tamara Rojo. It must be the bangs.


But the video! (Well, thank goodness I'm not wearing a white unitard... and SHEESH I recognized Zakharova by her feet...).... the glimpse of Maximova in Don Q is breathtaking. I noticed the speed as well as the en dehors pirouette... but mostly, she just exudes joy, even via that old celluloid.... The first time I felt that kind of joy watching a clip was of Alexandrova, also of the Bolshoi, and also as Kitri -- and she was even more joyful live. That type of exuberance -- when it comes through -- is something I really love about some of the Bolshoi dancers.

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The other thing that passed through my mind was the tempo during Don Q!! Spectacular!


Oh my gosh, ami- I would look like a white oompaloompa in a white uni!!!!!!!

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The tempo was fantastic -- especially after the sisonne -- I think we tend to see that part slowed down for extra... panache.... or something! But that's the thing..... despite the speed and the technical stuff and everything, she is not only smiling, but GLOWING.... BEAMING even. Isn't that how we all want to feel when we dance?


I now feel the need to immerse myself in everything Maximova-related!

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When I first saw in the news that she'd died, I didn't recognize her name. Then I saw some pictures of her and recognized her right away. She's Clara in the version of the Nutcracker that my parents have on video, which I've seen every December as long as I can remember. I love her dancing. She looks absolutely weightless.

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