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I, Maya Plisetskaya$
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Maya Plisetskaya

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300088571

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300088571.001.0001

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How We Were Paid

How We Were Paid

(p.206) Chapter Thirty-Three How We Were Paid
I, Maya Plisetskaya

Maya Plisetskaya

Yale University Press

In this chapter, Maya Plisetskaya reflects on the meager pay she and her fellow dancers received from the Soviet state. During her April 1959 tour to America with her ballet family, Maya was given $40 per performance and nothing on the days when she did not dance. The corps de ballet received $5 a day. When Maya danced Lady with the Dog in America, the American dog that appeared with her on the Yalta pier got $700 a performance. It was forbidden to talk to anyone, especially to foreigners, about financial arrangements with performers in the Soviet Union. It was common for Soviet performers to faint from hunger even during a performance. Solo tours were “arranged” through Gosconcert, which had a state monopoly on every performer from one-sixth of the world.

Keywords:   ballet, pay, America, performers, Soviet Union, tours, Gosconcert

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