(Maris-Rudol’f Eduardovich Liepa). Born July 27, 1936, in Riga. Soviet ballet dancer. People’s Artist of the Latvian SSR (1969) and People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1969).
In 1955, Liepa graduated from the Moscow Choreographic School. From 1956 to 1960 he was a soloist of the ballet troupe of the K. S. Stanislavsky and V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater, where he performed the roles of Lionel in Peiko’s Jeanne d’Arc and Siegfried in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, among others. Since 1960, Liepa has been a soloist of the Bol’shoi Ballet in Moscow. Here he has performed the most difficult roles of the classical repertoire, including Albrecht in Adam’s Giselle, Siegfried and the Prince in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, Basil in Minkus’ Don Quixote, and the title role in Le Spectre de la Rose to music by Weber (where he acted as choreographer, reviving M. M. Fokine’s production). Liepa has also danced principal roles in ballets by Soviet composers, including Romeo in Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Ferkhad in Melikov’s Legend of Love, Crassus in Khachaturian’s Spartacus (for which he earned the Lenin Prize in 1970), and Vronskii in Shchedrin’s Anna Karenina. Liepa’s dancing is characterized by a sculpturesque quality, an excellent technique, stage presence, and musicality. Since 1963 he has also been teaching at the Moscow Choreographic School.
M. S. KLEIMENOVA