Ekaterina Maksimova, ballerina: date of birth, biography, career, date and cause of death

Table of contents:

Ekaterina Maksimova, ballerina: date of birth, biography, career, date and cause of death
Ekaterina Maksimova, ballerina: date of birth, biography, career, date and cause of death

Video: Ekaterina Maksimova, ballerina: date of birth, biography, career, date and cause of death

Video: Ekaterina Maksimova, ballerina: date of birth, biography, career, date and cause of death
Video: Movement Direction: Creating Character 2023, September

Ekaterina Maksimova is a ballerina, one of the brightest stars of the Soviet stage, whose career lasted from 1958 to 2009. In 1973 she received the title of People's Artist of the USSR, and a few years later she became a laureate of the State Prize. Throughout almost her entire career, she danced on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater, performing all the most significant and famous parts.

Childhood and youth

Career of Ekaterina Maximova
Career of Ekaterina Maximova

Ballerina Maksimova was born on February 1, 1939. She was born in Moscow. She grew up in a family of metropolitan intellectuals. Her grandfather Gustav Shpet was a philosopher, psychologist, and famous art theorist. Ekaterina was born two years after the death of her legendary grandfather.

Professions related to creativity, were many of her relatives. For example, my mother worked as a journalist.

Interestingly, as a child, Katya did not think about the stage. A playful and restless girl dreamed of becoming a firefighter or, at worst,conductor in public transport. But fate decreed otherwise.

The first talent in a girl was seen by her mother. She took the child to a neighbor - ballerina Ekaterina Geltser. However, she did not like the noisy namesake and refused to evaluate her talents. Then the grandmother - Natalya Konstantinovna, the daughter of the famous capital businessman Konstantin Guchkov, joined the process. She took Katya to the ballet master Vasily Tikhomirov. He approved the girl's admission to the choreographic school.


The heroine of the article began to receive creative education at the age of 10. She managed to overcome the competition of 80 people for a place. A few months later, she took to the stage for the first time in her life.

Started her career with episodic roles in the play "The Nutcracker", in which she had the parts of a doll and snowflakes. In the production of "Cinderella" she had the part of a bird in the retinue of the Fairy of Spring. On stage, she looked so organic that it became obvious to everyone that the child has a great future.

Soon, in the next production of The Nutcracker, she was entrusted with a more significant role - the girl Masha. It was she who brought Katya the first award in her career - an award at the All-Union Ballet Competition.

The ballerina Maximova's mentor was Elizaveta Gerdt. In 1958, our heroine graduated from the choreographic school. Almost immediately, she was accepted into the troupe of the Bolshoi Theater, where the legendary Galina Ulanova became the teacher and tutor of the beginning ballerina.

Early career

Ballerina Ekaterina Maksimova
Ballerina Ekaterina Maksimova

In the troupeBallerina Ekaterina Maksimova worked at the Bolshoi Theater from 1958 to 1988. Her talent was immediately noted by the leadership, which began to trust her with the leading parties. At this time, most of the peers of the future prima were still performing in the corps de ballet.

Ballerina Maksimova amazed everyone around her with her perfect filigree technique. It seemed that she was born to perform in classical productions.

When the directors took the risk of entrusting her with the performance of modern parts, it turned out that she organically looks in this role as well. Then it became obvious that the possibilities of the ballerina Ekaterina Maximova are almost limitless.

A year after the girl was accepted into the troupe of the Bolshoi Theater, she went on tour to Canada and the USA. The audience was delighted with the talent of Catherine and called her "little elf". Photos of the ballerina Maximova were published by many newspapers, noting the incredible airiness of the Soviet dancer.

As a result of the world tour, she was awarded a gold medal at the World Youth Festival in Vienna. This was followed by tours to China and Scandinavia.

Working with Grigorovich

Parts of Ekaterina Maximova
Parts of Ekaterina Maximova

A new stage in the career of the dancer was the collaboration with Yuri Grigorovich, who was invited to move from Leningrad to Moscow in the early 60s. He staged the ballet "Stone Flower", in which Maximova got the main part of Catherine.

From artists Grigorovich always demanded animated acting, professionalism and skill. Maksimova coped brilliantly withthe duties assigned to her. In the dance, her heroine transforms from a lyrical and weak Russian girl into a strong woman, ready to do anything for love.

1961 became an important year in the biography of the ballerina Ekaterina Maximova. She got a role in the eleventh w altz "Chopiniana", starred in the film "USSR with an Open Heart", which was filmed for viewers in Europe and the USA. In the film, the dancer acted as Giselle.

Soon in the ballet "The Fountain of Bakhchisaray" Maksimova began to perform the role of Maria, which she actually inherited from her mentor Galina Ulanova.

Creative Union

Ekaterina Maksimova and Vladimir Vasiliev
Ekaterina Maksimova and Vladimir Vasiliev

In the 60s, one of the brightest and most famous creative unions appeared in the Soviet ballet - Ekaterina Maksimova and Vladimir Vasiliev. A talented and always self-confident ballet dancer played an important role in the girl's career. Together they made an organic couple, in which they seemed to complement each other, without competing in skill at all.

The next stellar role in the biography of the ballerina Maximova was Kitri's part in Don Quixote. The premiere, which took place on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater in 1965, turned into a real cultural sensation for the Soviet capital. From the ballerina, this role required extreme concentration, swiftness, incredibly high speed. The high jumps of the jette constantly had to be replaced by small steps in the pas style and vigorous rotations. Maksimova fully realized the idea of choreographer MariusPetipa, literally conquering the capital's public.

It is worth noting that Kitri Maximova radically differed from how the stars recognized at that time - Shulamith Messerer and Maya Plisetskaya - performed this part. For Catherine, the heroine of the ballet "Don Quixote" was precisely a reckless Russian, and not a temperamental Spaniard. Moscow admirers of the dancer tried not to miss any of her performances, buying tickets for several performances in a row.


Photo of the ballerina Maximova
Photo of the ballerina Maximova

In 1968, the premiere of the ballet "Spartacus" directed by Yuri Grigorovich took place at the Bolshoi Theater. Ekaterina Maksimova got the part of Phrygia. Grigorovich wrote this dramatic role specifically for the prima Bolshoi, so that she would have the opportunity to show all her talents. This party was filled with complex acrobatic elements, a difficult choreographic pattern, and original lifts. The heroine Maximova was endowed with a special bright and memorable character.

In the 70s and 80s, Vasiliev and Maksimova became real symbols and stars of the Bolshoi Theatre. Many specially came to Moscow to go to the ballet with their participation.

In the mid-70s, at the peak of her fame, the ballerina had an unfortunate injury, due to which she had to interrupt her career for a while. At the rehearsal of the production of "Ivan the Terrible", she unsuccessfully came out of the top support, having received a spinal injury.

Despite he alth problems, after some time the ballerina continued to perform. back pain is notsubsided, had to hurry. The shooting of the film "Spartacus" was being prepared, in which she was to perform the part of Phrygia. Due to the fact that the ballerina had to perform without fully recovering, she aggravated the spinal injury. This time it was much more serious. For several months, Catherine practically did not move. Doctors doubted if she would ever be able to walk.

Triumphant return

Ekaterina Maksimova at the Bolshoi Theater
Ekaterina Maksimova at the Bolshoi Theater

But Maksimova not only got on her feet, but a year later she went on stage again. In the spring of 1976 she performed the part in Giselle at the Bolshoi Theatre. It seemed that the suffering that the ballerina had to endure filled the image of her heroine with additional sensuality and tragedy. The frivolous Giselle she was before has become strong and wise.

In the same year, another premiere took place - the prima performed the role of Eola in the production of "Icarus". This was the debut of Vladimir Vasiliev as a choreographer.

Television work

At that time, artists faced the task of not only performing on stage, but also bringing art to the masses. For this, Maksimova and Vasiliev participated in TV shows more than once.

In the film-ballet "Trapeze" the heroine of the article played the role of the Girl, which brought her great success. This was followed by the paintings "My Fair Lady", "Galatea", "Hussar Ballad", "Old Tango". In 1983, Vasilyeva starred in the film "La Traviata" directed by FrancoZeffirelli.

The last premiere in her career came in 1986. Maksimova performed in the ballet Anyuta, staged by her husband Vasiliev. It was a real triumph - the audience was delighted with the new work of the ballerina.

At the end of a career

Biography of Ekaterina Maximova
Biography of Ekaterina Maximova

Despite this, two years later Grigorovich retired Maksimova, who at that time was 49 years old. Together with her, the Bolshoi Theater left Maya Plisetskaya, Vladimir Vasilyev, Nina Timofeeva. The official order stated that they all failed the creative competition.

A few years before her dismissal, the artist received a diploma as a teacher-choreographer, having graduated from a theater university. Since 1982 she has taught choreography at GITIS. In 1990, she was invited to the Kremlin Palace of Congresses as a tutor.

In 1998, Maksimova returned to the Bolshoi Theater as a tutor, when Vasilyev replaced Grigorovich as choreographer.

Private life

The bright creative duet of Maximova and Vasiliev eventually grew into a romance. The couple had known each other since their studies at the choreographic school, but then they were not close. When they ended up at the Bolshoi Theater, at first everyone went their own way. Feelings between lovers flared up in the mid-60s. They got married in 1966.

The couple had no children. Maximova's repeated pregnancies regularly ended in miscarriages. It was a real tragedy for her. Having found out that she has practically no chances to give birth to a normal and he althy child, she finallyabandoned the idea of becoming a mother.

For many years Maksimova called the Japanese ballerina Yukari Saito her daughter. Ekaterina Sergeevna even became her godmother when the Asian woman decided to convert to Orthodoxy. Maksimova also called all her students without exception her children.


The death of the ballerina Ekaterina Maximova occurred on April 28, 2009. At that time she was 70 years old. All leading domestic media came out with detailed materials that talked about the biography and cause of death of the ballerina Ekaterina Maximova. The troupe of the Bolshoi Theater, relatives and friends of the heroine of the article were in mourning because of her death.

The cause of death of ballerina Ekaterina Maximova is heart failure. In the early spring morning, the dead daughter was discovered by her 94-year-old mother, who was once the very first to consider her talent. Death occurred in Ekaterina Sergeevna's own apartment in Moscow, when the ballerina was sleeping.

The artist was buried at the Novodevichy cemetery. An unhewn red granite stone is installed on her grave, on which the name of the prima and the years of her life are engraved. The cause of the death of the ballerina Maximova came as a surprise to many, since she took care of her he alth throughout her career. But still, the years took their toll.

Her husband Vladimir Vasiliev is now 78 years old. He regularly appears in public. In 2014, he performed at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, performing the part of Ilya Rostov in the mini-ballet Natasha Rostova's First Ball.