«Russian Gazeta»

26-03-2009 21:33


Anna sips Coca-Cola and tells about her family.
My childhood passed in Moscow, in the Myaskovsky Street, in the house of actors of the Bolshoy theatre. Dad married the young beautiful actress of the Bolshoy theatre when he was 36 years old. Well-born ancestors of my mum have hidden their origin during the revolution.
I was the desired child in a family. A movie «Divine Anna» was filmed with me in a leading role. A best-known number was the dying swan which at first danced attitude and dying convulsively jerked a leg. My god friend was the nurse Lida who sang the Russian song (translation pf the song may sound: «Eh, an apple where do you go, if you get to my mouth, will not turn back». Lida took me out on a walk, and all the neighbours came over to look at a beautiful doll. At one time my father was not eligible to travel abroad. And then Maya Plisetskaya wrote the ultimatum-like letter addressed to the director Chulaki. If her brother Alexander Plisetsky is excluded from an English trip, she will ask to discharge her from employment in the Bolshoy theatre… Anna’s preschool years passed in Latin America where her father worked. He raised the local ballet to a new level. He was loved by all the mechanics and all cleaners…. Alexander Plisetsky worked in the Bolshoy theater in 1950-70 and in 1974-1979 headed the Argentina opera and ballet theatre «Colon» in Buenos-Aires.
Anna adored this the country. And till now remembers the house, a fantastic garden, singing birds and exotic fruit in a paradise garden. There is no winter. And for New Year children write notes where they list what they want to get and put them into the grass by the house. Anna wished to get golden earrings when she was four.
When the family came back to Moscow they went to a summer residence in Zagoryanka. And for Anna and her brother Philipp campaigns to the jungles began. Wild cries of the Indians drove relatives mad this is how her second nickname «the house terrorist» appeared. Filipp Messerer lives in New York now. He shot a film about Russian families, whose relatives died on September, 11th. His father asked Maya Plisetskaya to write a recommendation letter to make the way in the difficult world of cinematic art easier. But she refused.
In Russia Anna was sent to a special English school where children of the people worked in the Government studied. There she was the outsider. And her backlog in Russian language “cost” a considerable quantity of invitation cards to the Bolshoy theater. Anna’s father, Alexander, died on an operational table during a heart operation.
She says that her father “burnt down” on work. He needed the urgent heart operation to be done when she was fourteen years old. And she still does not know, who is guilty in death of her father – the Soviet government or doctor Agapov… My father was amazingly beautiful. He had red eyelashes. He was of a high breeding.
And my mum is very beautiful. She is the director of ballet university school now…
On the piano (at first Anna received music education) there are two photos of her mother, Maryana Sedova. These are two photos of a beautiful woman – a blonde on the first photo and – the brunette on the second one…

- There were three of them. Maya, my father and Azarik – a six year gap. My grandmother – Rakhil Messerer – was the actress of mute cinema. She overlived the reprisals (my grandfather died because of them) and war.
It is necessary to get on the right time, at the right hour. She acted much in films near Tashkent. She acted in silent movies and played dozens of roles. She was both a film actress and a telephonist, and desk administrator in hospital. She wasn’t high, had a beautiful doll face with huge brown eyes, a small nose-button. Black hair were always smoothly combed and parted in the middle. Straight legs and small feet. » There was something of ancient Persian miniatures about her». Evidently, she was concentrated. She was a family person and an interesting story-teller. She lived till 92 years in apartment on Tverskaya street. Azarias left to Cuba when he was 24 years old and lived abroad all his life. He works in Lausanne now. Grandmother was lonely, as Maya was on tours. She lived from a call to a call. Her friends visited her.
I loved listening to her stories. She had a fantastic memory. She told even those stories which were told by her brother Azary Messerer. One of them was about the Georgian boy who entered theatrical school, who read a fable» About a raven and a fox » » the Silly bird opened her nib, and a cunning red animal grasped, ran, ate. This is how, you understand…»
Her husband Mikhail Plisetsky was always her pride. He was the first consul on Spitsbergen – actually the head, the chief of «Arktikugl», the person who truly believed the ideas of construction of communism. He received the award from Stalin for this – was shot in 1938. When in 1938 she was arrested and demanded to sign that her husband was a spy, traitor, saboteur, criminal, participant of a plot against Stalin – she refused. She got eight years of prison. Grandmother got into the Akmolinsky camp as the wife of the traitor of the Native land. After the camp, Rahil was left alone with three children. In her life there were no more men. Grandmother was proud of her children, she possessed such a power that interesting people always aspired her house. Maya always sent her tickets for her premieres – that was the meaning of her life. Grandmother had seven brothers and sisters. They all succeeded in their spheres. It is a family character trait – to become successful.
Anna – is the only bearer of the family name.
Is it so?
- Yes…
- Did your surname help you in your life?
- If someone thinks that my surname helped me with my career, it is a lie. More likely, I was annoyed. My situation was difficult enough: I even got from the enemies of Maya who could not get her.

Academia Vaganova
-You finished Saint-Petersburg’s academy named after Vaganova. What did the studies give you?
-It’s possible to say that I met with XIX century culture of teaching. I have musical background, but I was lack of assiduity, and I came to dancing.
Romantic ides turned round real examination. Climate of North capital differed from Latin America. Anna was allocated to school boarding house, duringm winter period there was no more than 8?C. All children were divided into a internat and city dwellers, and it determined the lie of the land. Anna ran from class to class self-willed, choosing the teacher. She liked to study with Pomeranceva, remote relative of Vaganova. But once her father told her: “It’s better to be the least in the fist class, than the best among the worse”. By now she had been dancing for 10 years already on the huge stage of Kirovskiyi theatre solo in ballet of Petr Andreevich Gusev. Making the general bow he got ballerina to forestage and stayed: -Girl, what is your surname?
-Plisetskaya, – ceeped Anna.
-Do you take the piss out of old man?- he shouted. But soon she felt hard eyes of herd mates. They called her star.
-Were you ready for such turn of fortune?
-I began to maturate very late. There were moments in my life when the fortune presented me such situations to which I wasn’t ready. Sometime Andris Liepa took me out to concert, where Hulio Bokka danced. I didn’t stand on my own feet yet. I even stumbled….
Once director A.Belinskiyi (an author of the film about E.Maksimova) decided to put me on celluloid. He was the only one director, who dreamed up inimitable genre of film-ballet. And Ekaterina Maksimova was his incomparable muse. Belinskiy conceived his film after Gorkiyi. Maksimova recommended Anna for a star part.
She came to St.Petersburg television, got over long grey halls and sat down in an armchair.
A make up girl came to her. But make-up took so much time so furious director began to cry: “Where’s this young Plisetskaya, we don’t stay on schedule again!” But after film previewing became satisfied: “Dances as Plisetskaya early in life”.
At Moris Bejart<
- Moris Bejart was one of those who began working with me. I thought that everything will be gradually. I arrived to Switzerland a month later, and he began doing Maria-Magdalina anew. I was scared.
- How long did you work with Bejart?
- Several years.
- How did you work?
- Now I do understand that he gave me the program. It was difficult and interesting. Me - so young and unsure of myself. Moris made a choreography for ballet about the Austrian empress Elizabeth, killed by terrorists. It is a typical synthetic performance of Moris. Four persons participated in it. Gianni Versace arrived and brought costumes. Performance took place in Venice. The white dress was of fantastic beauty, but it was impossible to dance in.
Bejart – is a deeply philosophical person. He explains nothing. He draws a cloth. He takes paints which he considers necessary. He is to be felt. And it didn’t come at once. I came to him straight after Mariinsky classic school. We didn’t have modernist style at all. After a while I mastered the plasticity. But, I think, my body is created, fortunately, for a modernist style. I thought that it’s a plasticity for yoga. But it is impossible to understand. You are simply connected energetically. and you see everything differently. In Russia I began to dance classics and suddenly though of why I had returned.
-And why?
- Something can be done in art here. But I returned to the eighteenth century. People with old techniques, with old thinking. Saint-Petersburg - the most cultural centre of the world – is dying.
- And Mariinsky theatre is starring...
- It is the only diamond there now. I have only positive impressions of Gergiev. He has a strong power. He works hard.
- Do ballerinas live a life in the accelerated rate?
- You live on the motor. In a time-rest condition you start going mad. I know such people. They don’t care about where to dance but only dance...
- Do you have a lot of friends?
- No.
- Do you like being alone?
- I adore it.
- Where would like to live?
- I bought an apartment in Moscow. Israel is beautiful. But I wouldn’t like to live there. There is a great climate. And - truth. It is a great fun to stage performances, to shoot films there. Everything is minor in comparison with a life of the Christ. I met the actor Kanevsky there. I acted in my first film with him. I didn’t perceive him seriously.
Mary Poppins comes back
- the First film is about Mary Poppins?
- "Mary Poppins". I played a little girl. The boy was played by Philipp Rukavishnikov - from the well-known family of sculptors. Nastja Vertinsky was supposed to act in the film, but Natasha Andrejchenko acted instead of her.
- Do you like to act in films?
- I love it. But I overact. Ballerinas are very bonded, but I’m not the absolute ballerina. I am more of an actress. My first film was "Anna Karenina". I had a role of a boy Serezha.
- How do you perceive Maya Plisetskaya?
- She is here to accomplish the mission. She lives for it and is concentrated only on it. She has a tremendous energy. She can stay awake and dance all night long. It is in her blood.
- There is an expression that ballet is a sadomasochist.
- It is brought up by the profession. The ballerina lives all time with pain. Fingers are constantly being rubbed to blood. Muscles hurt, but you overcome this pain, yourself. It is a dislike for oneself, or, more precisely, it is love for yourself.
Maya never smoked. She could drink a glass of champagne and that’s it. I hate alcohol.
- For a while you danced in Imperial ballet of Gedeminas Taranda?
- I needed work. Now I don’t work there any more and I do independent projects, I have a role of the manager and the producer. I have founded a fund to help children and gathered the young talents in a concert hall "Rossia" under the name "All the world. I was the author of the idea, and presented the spectators - talented children together with stars. It turned out to be very sincere. The hall was full.
- What shoes do you prefer?
- I have a lot of shoes. Different styles. The main thing is that they must be comfortable. I cannot wear narrow footwear. This is a purely ballet feature. Though some ballerinas can even wear heels. There is a problem with ballet shoes. All the masters left the Bolshoy theatre.
- What food do you like?
- My organism rejects meat. If I eat a slice – it seams as if I have eaten myself. I love vegetables, fish. When you eat a lot – it is an additional weight, and the ballerina should be light. The lighter is the ballerina, the easier is the work.
- I do not like to leave the house. In St. Petersburg, on the contrary, I go to the museums. I do not consider Moscow to be a beautiful city. It is a more comfortable city for life, than other Russian cities.
- What cities do you like?
- Venice, Paris, Milano...
- What you don’t like?
- Dictatorship.
- Do you have a guardian angel?
- This person left, but he remains with me. He often advises, what I should do.
- You have an amazing ring on a finger.
- It is a white eye. It is in my palms. It is my eye in my hands. That means that I look after myself.
- Who would you like to be like?
- Like my father.
Tatyana Horoshilova
This is unprofessional translation of the article made by ​​Russian university graduate.
We apologize for the caused discomfort


«The young Plisetskaya«