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Ekaterina Maximova (1939-2009).

She was a ballerina of rare quality who demonstrated the daintiness, precision, grace, and charm of Russian classics and the explosive, dazzling virtuosity of Soviet blockbusters. She filled each role with heartfelt dramatic content. So the unexpected and tragic death of Ekaterina Sergeyevna Maximova at her home in Moscow in April sent sadness and shock around the world. She had spent the evening watching a performance of Spartacus, a ballet in which she had created the role of Phrygia 41 years before. Her husband and stage partner, Vladimir Vasiliev, was abroad on business but flew back immediately on hearing the news.

Maximova was born in Moscow and graduated from the Moscow Choreographic Institute under the tutelage of Elizaveta Gerdt in 1958. She was taken immediately into the Bolshoi Ballet, where her unique talents were quickly seized upon. She created the role of Katerina, with Vasiliev as Danila, in Yuri Grigorovich's The Stone Flower. The duo forged an exciting partnership that contrasted his virility with her delicacy and set audiences cheering--including those on the company's first American tour in 1959. Maximova danced all the classical roles, coached by Galina Ulanova, and most of Grigorovich's ballets. The couple also worked with other choreographers, such as Goleizovsky, Bejart, and Petit, and made several dance films for TV. Petite and heartbreakingly lovely, she leaves a lasting memory as Don Quixote's Kitri, where she sped across the stage with the fastest bourees, and spun, hands on hips, with perfect placement, balance, and contagious exuberance.

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Title Annotation:DEATHS
Author:Willis, Margaret
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2009
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