Homage to Maris Liepa in Moscow

Homage to Maris Liepa in Moscow | Danza Ballet

Historic Stage 20 December, 2016. Bolshoi Theatre.

Ballet Gala in the memory of Maris Liepa. 20 December, 2016. Bolshoi Theatre.

Maris Rudolfs Liepa (27 July 1936, Riga – 26 March 1989, Moscow) was a Soviet Latvian ballet dancer. He graduated from Riga Choreography School where he was taught by Valentоns Bпinovs. He performed in Moscow for the first time in 1950. At the height of career, Liepa was considered one of the finest male dancers in the world and one of the most versatile, at home in a wide range of roles.

In 1953 Liepa began studies in Moscow Choreography School in a class taught by Nikolay Tarasov and initially was developing as character-role dancer, yet upon graduation transformed into a classic ballet dancer.

After graduation from Moscow Choreography School in 1955 he returned to Riga and the Latvian Opera and Ballet Theatre. The company of theatre went on road-show to Moscow during December of the same year, where Maris Liepa was noticed by one of the Bolshoi’s prima ballerinas, Maya Plisetskaya. She invited Liepa to join her ballet company on a tour in Budapest in 1956. He accepted the invitation to become a part of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre, and after four seasons he became one of the lead artists.

Maris Liepa was invited to become a part of Moscow State Academic Bolshoi Theatre troupe that toured Poland, and shortly after this tour Liepa was offered a place in the company by the Theatre’s Ballet Master Leonid Lavrovsky. Liepa’s debut on the stage of the Moscow State Academic Bolshoi Theatre saw him perform Basil in Don Quixote, again with Maya Plisetskaya in the early 1960s, and shortly after he played the most crucial role of his career – Count Albert in staging of Giselle. Collaboration with the new Ballet Master of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre Yuri Grigorovich began in 1964. In 1966 Liepa had his first performance in re-staged Fokin’s Spirit of the Rose, in 1968 he played a part in the new version of Spartacus and received the highest accolades for the role of Krass in 1970.

The relationship of Maris Liepa and the Ballet Master of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre flattened during the 1970s and he remained off the list of performers of the new productions staged by Grigorovich. Liepa danced his last large role with the theater in 1977, in a staging of Chipollino. After leaving, he staged and organized several of his own creative performances and actively cooperated with the new ballet troupe of Boris Eifman.

Liepa submitted a resignation in 1982; however, the end to his ballet and artistic career was to come much later. He worked as a ballet teacher and became the Artistic Director of Sofia National Opera between 1983 and 1985. In 1989 Liepa created his own ballet theatre in Moscow. Repertoire of Maris Liepa included couple dozen roles, from Swan Lake to Spartacus. He has performed on stages of Europe and USA. Liepa has played roles in movies and TV, in Hamlet and Spartacus. A book, I Want to Dance for Hundred Years, written by Maris Liepa, was published in Riga in 1981.

Liepa is a winner of many distinguished Soviet Union awards, prizes and bestowals, including the Konstsantin Stanislavsky medal, Paris Ballet Academy Vaslav Nijinsky award and Marius Petipa Prize.



A. Glazunov
Grand Pas from Raymonda
choreography by M. Petipa

Alyona Kovalyova
Alexander Volchkov
Bolshoi Ballet artists

P. Tchaikovsky
Pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty
choreography by M. Petipa

Evgenia Obraztsova
Artem Ovcharenko

S. Rakhmaninov
Spring Waters
choreography by A. Messerer

Anastasia Stashkevich
Andrei Merkuriev

P. Tchaikovsky
Pas de deux from Swan Lake
choreography by M. Petipa, A. Gorsky

Ekaterina Borchenko (Mikhailovsky Theatre)
Victor Lebedev (Mikhailovsky Theatre)

A. Adam
Pas de deux from Le Corsaire
choreography by M. Petipa

Kristina Kretova
Brooklyn Mack (Washington Ballet)


C. M. von Weber
The Spirit of the Rose
choreography by M. Fokine
(The piece was restored by Maris Liepa.)

Evgenia Obraztsova
Jacopo Tissi (La Scala Ballet)

P. Tchaikovsky
Pas de deux from Nutcracker
choreography by V. Vainonen

Angelina Vorontsova (Mikhailovsky Theatre)
Ivan Zaitsevev (Mikhailovsky Theatre)

A. Melikov
Mekhmene Banu and Ferkhad adagio
from A Legend of Love
choreography by Y. Grigorovich

Maria Alexandrova
Vladislav Lantratov

L. Delibes
Pas de deux from Sylvia
choreography by F. Ashton

Nadezhda Batoeva (Mariinsky Theatre)
Xander Parish (Mariinsky Theatre)

R. Wagner
Tristan and Isolde duet from Tristan
choreography by K. Pastor

Svetlana Zakharova
Mikhail Lobukhin

L. Minkus
Grand Pas from Don Quixote
choreography by M. Petipa, A. Gorsky

Margarita Shrainer
Igor Tsvirko

Excerpts from Maris Liepa book: Ilze Liepa

Conductor: Pavel Klinichev
Concert directors: Andris Liepa, Makhar Vaziev

General sponsor of the Bolshoi Theatre is Credit Suisse bank

Homage to Maris Liepa in Moscow | Danza Ballet
Homage to Maris Liepa. All the concert partisipants. Projection on the backcloth: Maris Liepa and Maya Plisetskaya. Photo by Damir Yusupov/ Bolshoi Theatre.
Homage to Maris Liepa in Moscow | Danza Ballet
Adagio from A Legend of Love. Maria Alexandrova, Vladislav Lantratov. Photo by Damir Yusupov/ Bolshoi Theatre.
Homage to Maris Liepa in Moscow | Danza Ballet
Grand Pas from Raymonda. From left to right: Mikhail Kryuchkov, Ana Turazashvili, Ivan Alexeyev, Victoria Yakusheva, Artur Mkrtchyan, Alyona Kovalyova (Raymonda), Jean de Brien. Photo by Damir Yusupov/ Bolshoi Theatre.
Homage to Maris Liepa in Moscow | Danza Ballet
Ilze Liepa is reading excerpts from her father’s book. Photo by Damir Yusupov/ Bolshoi Theatre.

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