Maris Liepa

(biography, photos, videos) Maris Rudolfs Liepa

photo of Maris Liepa

  • Name: Maris Liepa ( The Maris Liepa Rudolfs )
  • Date of birth: 27 July 1936
  • Age: 52 years
  • Date of death: 26 Mar 1989
  • Place of birth: Riga, Latvia
  • Activity: ballet dancer, choreographer, actor
  • Marital status: divorced was

    Maris Liepa: biography

    Maris Liepa, Rudolf — the Soviet ballet artist of Latvian origin. In 1976, for merit to culture was awarded the title of people’s artist of the Soviet Union. In addition, Liepa as an actor familiar to many fans of Russian cinema in such films as «Bambi’s Childhood» and «the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson».

    Maris Liepa in childhood
    Maris Liepa in childhood | Charity Fund

    Maris was born in Riga in the family of masters of the stage of the local Opera and ballet theatre, Edward Liepa and his wife Lily. He was the second child of his parents. It is quite a sickly child. The boy grew very thin, often had a cold and was in the hospital. Doctors advised spouses Liepa to give the boy some sports section. Maris wanted to play football or to swim in the pool, but father insisted on a special ballet class at the Riga choreographic school.

    Future star ballet in childhood
    Future star ballet in childhood | Charity Fund

    Future star of Soviet ballet from the first days of disliked classes and even began to skip class. But the mother, who had originally planned that his son would become a doctor, found the right words for her son. She explained that one should never give up halfway, and need to prove themselves and others their worth. Such speech so impressed a young Liepu that before the end of his days he will be different perseverance and determination.

    Maris Liepa in childhood
    Maris Liepa in childhood | Charity Fund

    When in addition to working at the bench, began the development of character dance, Maris literally imbued with the art of classical dance. To 13 years old teenager has already performed not only in the children’s performances, but played the Mazurka and the Krakowiak in «fountain of Bakhchisarai», where he played the jester in «Romeo and Juliet», dance the seguidilla in «don Quixote» and portrayed the Polovtsian boy in the Opera «Prince Igor». But it should be noted that in addition to studying at the ballet school youth to attend sports clubs. He had good results in the discipline of gymnastics, and swimming freestyle even became the champion of Latvia.

    Maris Liepa
    Maris Liepa | Charitable Foundation

    When Marisa was 14 years old, it among other disciples was sent to the all-Union review of dance schools, and there the Riga ballet Studio along with Moscow, Leningrad and Alma-ATA’s «peers» was recognized as the most promising. Three years later, Liepa invited to continue training in Moscow, and he happily agrees. However, the Metropolitan school didn’t give him the scholarship, so that his son could do in a prestigious University, the parents sold their summer house on the Coast. Maris thanked them that in two years not only never missed a class, but also came to each lesson before the teacher and gave their work and inspiration.

    Maris Liepa
    Maris Liepa | Charitable Foundation

    As a final exam Liepa danced on a scene of branch of the Bolshoi theatre title role in the play «the Nutcracker». Newly minted dancer wanted to stay on the main stage of the country as a member of the troupe, but in the USSR it was decided to distribute the footage of the national republics, so Maris returned to Riga.


    However, in Latvia, he stayed only six months. Then the eighth decade of the Baltic art, and Liepa danced the Russian warrior Nikita in the ballet «lime», as well as a rural musician Tots in the production of «Sakti freedom.» The last of them on Marisa drew attention to the prima ballerina Maya Mikhailovna Plisetskaya, who gave a speech accolades and invited the guy to be a partner during a tour of Hungary.

    Maris Liepa, Rudolf in the play
    Maris-Rudolf Liepa in the ballet «Swan lake» | Charity Fund

    In Budapest Liepa danced the role of Siegfried in «Swan lake», which was the dream for many years. It did not stop even the fact that he received a serious leg injury. After a series of speeches, the dancer went to Sochi to restore a damaged tibia, and right in the hotel. they found him chief choreographer of the Moscow academic musical theatre Vladimir Burmeister and was offered a job with very high salary.

    Maris Liepa on stage
    Maris Liepa on stage | Charity Fund

    In this theater, Maris-Rudolf became a star of Soviet ballet. Moscow ballet lovers was «Liepa», filled up with flowers and gifts, a few hours waiting at the stage door for an autograph. At the same time, the artist won the gold medal at the world festival of youth and students. His talent was noted the Chairman of jury Galina Ulanova.

    In the summer of 1960, after the Grand tour in Poland, Liepa finally gets the invitation to go to the Bolshoi theatre. Not once does she recognize that the endorsement he received on the grounds that the interview is not even mentioned salary and material benefits, and asked only one question choreographer: «What party am I gonna dance?». As a result, he was engaged in all the most celebrated productions – from «don Quixote» to «Spartacus.»

    Maris Liepa, Rudolf in the play
    Maris-Rudolf Liepa in the ballet «Spartacus» | Charity Fund

    Four years later at the Bolshoi theatre changes the main choreographer. Becoming a choreographer Yuri Grigorovich, who is trying to bring his vision to the play. For example, in «Spartacus» Liepa danced the main role, but Grigorovich gave it another character, Crassus. The success exceeded all expectations, the corpse had even been the highest in the country Lenin prize, and the international tours of artists literally worn on the hands. By the way, in England, the Soviet star was called «the Laurence Olivier of the ballet».

    Maris Liepa, Rudolf in the play
    Maris-Rudolf Liepa in the ballet «Spartacus» | Charity Fund

    But such an auspicious beginning unexpectedly ends in failure. Liepa gave an interview to the newspaper «Pravda» in which he allowed himself to criticize the level of choreographic skill of Yuri, and the choreographer did not forgive. Dancer give a role only to the old productions and the new places he is not. Over the next 14 years, Maris only four times participated in the new batches.

    The star of the Soviet ballet Maris Liepa
    The star of the Soviet ballet Maris Liepa | Charitable Foundation

    28 March 1982 for the last time he dances Crassus from «Spartacus» ballet. The audience gave a standing ovation, but a triumph ends with the decision of the arts Council of the incompetent dancer. Since then, on stage Liepa comes only in recitals and private performances. And they still collect huge audience, but Maris, trying to find a new business, going to the cinema.


    Actually working on the set Liepa started a long time ago. In 1959 he debuted as an actor in the melodrama the Riga film Studio «Ilse». And 10 years later his performance of hamlet in the eponymous film-the play made a splash not only in the USSR but throughout the world. Then Maris turned to the Prince Vseslav of historical painting «the Grave of a lion» and Jack Wheeler in the spy film «the Fourth». In this project, which also shone Vladimir Vysotsky, the dancer put the original choreography, which is jokingly called «Icarus in three minutes.»

    Maris Liepa film
    Maris Liepa in the movie «Bambi’s Childhood» | Movie-Theater

    Especially bright it turned out the main role of the actor in the romantic Comedy «Galatea» fairy tales «Bambi’s Childhood» and «Yunost Bambi», where he played the father of the deer, and in the crime drama «Road to hell». Also remembered for her role as Marisa, Colonel Valentine Walter in a detective «the Twentieth century begins» from the series of movies «the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson», as well as for insulting the king Nicholas I historical-biographical drama «Lermontov».

    Maris Liepa film
    Maris Liepa film «the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson» | Movie-Theater

    In 2006, the screens out the picture «Memoirs about Sherlock Holmes», in which by mounting a actor Liepa. In the same period saw the documentary about dancer – «Duel with destiny» and «MARIS».

    Personal life

    The first wife of the famous dancer became another legend of the stage Maya Plisetskaya. They married in 1956 when he was 20 and she was 31 years old. But lived together for Maya and Maris for three months.

    Maya Plisetskaya and Maris Liepa
    Maya Plisetskaya and Maris Liepa | LiveInternet

    Later, in the film «Ilze», he met actress Margaret Zhigunova. To this marriage were born two children – son Andris and daughter Ilse. The names of the children of the wife given in honor of the characters in the above pictures. And the son, and the daughter went in his father’s footsteps and become dancers.

    Maris Liepa and Margarita Zhigunova
    Maris Liepa and Margarita Zhigunova | Liveinternet

    In the late 70-ies Liepa goes on tour with a young ballerina Nina Semizorova, with whom he starts an affair. Soon Maris leaves his family and married a girl who is younger than him by almost 20 years. However, this Alliance proved to be unstable. At the initiative of the ballerina in 1985, the couple divorced, although no longer living together.

    Nina Semizorova in the dressing room of the Bolshoi theatre
    Nina Semizorova in the dressing room of the Bolshoi theatre | LiveInternet

    Fourth wife Liepa, although actual, was a costume designer for Eugene Schultz. They had a daughter Maria, but in those days the recognition celebrity about an illegitimate child was tantamount to the collapse of a career, Maris concealed existence of the younger daughter a very long time.

    Eugene Schultz with daughter Maria Liepa
    Eugene Schultz with daughter Maria Liepa | LiveInternet

    In addition to formal and informal marriages, Marisa was rather long and rather tumultuous relationship with Galina Brezhnev, daughter of Leonid Brezhnev, who was the older dancer for 11 years.


    When in the Riga Opera theatre group choreographer, Liepa submits an application for the vacancy, but he refused. Moreover, the «top» comes the order to prohibit Marisa to create your own theater in Riga, as he had planned. Even well-known dancer Raimonds Pauls, who held then the post of Minister of culture of the Republic of Latvia, could not influence the situation.

    The monument to the ballet dancer Maris Liepa in Riga
    The monument to the ballet dancer Maris Liepa in Riga | news classical music

    The husband comes depression, but at the moment the saving thread was the decision from the capital of the USSR were allowed to create a theatre «Ballet of Maris leipa» in Moscow. After long delays, was appointed the selection of the troupe, but on March 26, 1989, at the age of 52 years, Maris-Rudolf Eduardovich died. The official verdict of doctors – a heart attack. It is known that the legendary ballet dancer died in a car «Ambulance». But rumor has it that the day before he went to a favorite Bolshoi theatre, and then the guard took his pass and was not allowed to the premises. And in that moment the man has not sustained heart.

    Tomb Of Maris Liepa
    Tomb Marisa Liepaja | Virtual necropolis

    But after the death Liepa didn’t calm down the fuss around his name. Almost a week was a struggle for the place of farewell to the star. Only five days the coffin was installed in the foyer of the Bolshoi theatre, near the stage, where he showed the greatest art for 20 years. Buried Maris Eduardovich Vagankovskoye cemetery in Moscow but in Riga near the graves of his father and mother set the stone, which is inscribed «Maris Liepa, which is away».


    • 1969 — hamlet
    • 1972 — Fourth
    • 1974 — your Name
    • 1977 — Galatea
    • 1978 — Benefis Lyudmily Gurchenko
    • 1985 Bambi’s Childhood
    • 1986 — Lermontov
    • 1986 — the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: the Twentieth century begins
    • 1988 — the Road to hell
    • 1988 — Ship


    Maris Liepa

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