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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 Carmen Suite was Born

How Carmen Suite was Born

(p.268) Chapter Thirty-Nine How Carmen Suite was Born
I, Maya Plisetskaya

Maya Plisetskaya

Yale University Press

In this chapter, Maya Plisetskaya reflects on how she came up with the idea for Carmen Suite, a ballet created in 1967 by Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso, using music written by her husband Rodion Shchedrin. In 1964, Maya asked composer Dmitri Shostakovich to compose a ballet on the story of Carmen, an opera by Georges Bizet. After dancing the old repertoire, from Swan Lake to Don Quixote and Sleeping Beauty over and over again, Maya wanted something new, something she could call her own. She had always wanted to dance Carmen. In 1966, she met Alonso when the Cuban National Ballet came to Moscow. Alonso agreed to develop the libretto while Rodion Shchedrin, Maya's husband, promised to write music for the ballet. The rest is history: Maya danced Carmen Suite about 350 times, including 132 times for the Bolshoi Ballet alone.

Keywords:   ballet, opera, Carmen Suite, Alberto Alonso, Rodion Shchedrin, Carmen, Georges Bizet, Cuban National Ballet, Moscow

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