Maris Liepa

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Māris Liepa
Māris Rūdolfs Liepa
Birthplace Riga, Latvia
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Liepa, Maris


(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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 2011, the Filipino ballet dancer collected two special awards at the Boston International Ballet Competition - the Maris Liepa Award for Outstanding Artistry and Lead Role in a Russian Ballet performance.
His first performance at the Bolshoi was in Le Spectre de la rose (opposite Evgenia Obraztsova) in the framework of the gala in honor of Maris Liepa jubilee.
She also won silver medal in the 2010 International Ballet Competition, bronze medal at the Seoul International Dance Competition 2011, and the Maris Liepa Award for Outstanding Artistry at the Boston International Ballet Competition 2011.
Other illustrious names have also included dancers as Maris Liepa, Aleksander Godunov, Vladimir Gelvan, and during the postwar period Elena Tangiyeva-Birzniece, who was the region's most renowned ballerina star in the 1930s, and Evgeny Changa.
They tread a stage on which in the halcyon days of the Bolshoi in the Soviet Union appeared legends such as ballerinas Maya Plisetskaya and Galina Ulanova and the mythical male dancer Maris Liepa.
The Maris Liepa Foundation have taken the act, titled Russian Season XXI, to London and Paris before bringing it to Abu Dhabi, for its first performance in the Middle East on Thursday.
Although Yuri Grigorovich's stirring Spartacus (here reissued in its original letterbox format) defines itself as Soviet-era kitsch writ large, the performances of Vladimir Vasiliev, Natalia Bessmertnova, Maris Liepa, and the unforgettable Nina Timofeyeva look like heroic portrayals danced on an epic scale.
Over the course of time, she won the Maris Liepa Award for Outstanding Artistry, a bronze medal at the Seoul International Dance competition (2011), and the silver medal at the "Olympics on the USA." She also won First Prize (Women's Senior Division) at the Helsinki International Ballet Competition.
The new project of Maris Liepa Charity Fund, AVS Company and Kremlin Ballet Theater is called "The Russian Seasons of the 21st Century."
Liepa, son of the legendary Soviet-era dancer Maris Liepa, danced lead roles with the Bolshoi, Kirov, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet.
But the main drawback to these performances was the absence of artists even vaguely resembling such strong personalities as Bolshoi greats Vasiliev, Maris Liepa, Mikhail Lavrovsky, and Natalya Bessmertnova.
Although they weren't portrayed in the mural, many of the most celebrated dancers of the Bolshoi, the likes of Maris Liepa and Yuri Vladimirov, hung out at O'Neals' after performances, of course under the watchful eye of the KGB in those pre-glasnost days.