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Legendary Russian Ballerina Maya Plisetskaya Dies at 89

© Sputnik / Alexander Makarov / Go to the photo bankMaya Plisetskaya performing on stage
Maya Plisetskaya performing on stage - Sputnik International
Maya Plisetskaya, widely regarded as one of the greatest ballerinas of her time, died Saturday of a heart attack, Rossiya-24 television reported citing Bolshoi Theatre director Vladimir Urin.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The 89-year-old Russian dancer passed away in Germany, according to the news outlet.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his condolences to Maya Plisetskaya's relatives and loved ones, as well as admirers of the ballerina's talent.

Plisetskaya was born on November 20, 1925 in Moscow. At age 18, she joined the Bolshoi Ballet, soon becoming a leading soloist, and was later proclaimed Prima Ballerina Assoluta by the Soviet government.

In 1947 Plisetskaya performed the role of Odile-Odette in "Swan Lake." It became one of her most acclaimed roles.

Some of her most famous roles included Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, the title role in Carmen Suite, written especially for her.

Over her career Plisetskaya received a great number of awards. Among them are three Orders of Lenin (1967, 1976 and 1985), the title of Hero of Socialist Labor (1985) and People's Artist of the USSR (1959), the Order of the Legion of Honor (France, 1986), and many others.

In 1990 Maya Plisetskaya ended her career as a ballet dancer. Her last performance took place on January 4.

After retiring, Plisetskaya worked as a ballet director, teacher and choreographer.

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