Liudmila Konovalova took a part in the Ave Maya Gala in memory of the legendary Maya Plisetskaya / 2016-03-07

Liudmila Konovalova took a part in the Ave Maya Gala in memory of the legendary Maya Plisetskaya

She was one of the world’s greatest ballerinas — so it was fitting that a West End gala tribute to Maya Plisetskaya was hailed by a former protégé as “one of the great London ballet nights”.

Stars from the Bolshoi, Mariinsky and Royal Ballets, among others, gathered at the London Coliseum to perform Ave Maya, in memory of the Russian dancer, who died aged 89 last May.

The show — the biggest celebration of Plisetskaya’s life outside Russia — featured her favourite roles and works created for her, such as Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso’s Carmen Suite. 

Matthew Golding, the principal of the Royal Ballet, performed an extract from Swan Lake with Russian Liudmila Konovalova. He said: “To give a show for Maya and dedicate the career she gave for the stage and off the stage was something special. All the people here are good people from top companies.” 

Ms Konovalova, the prima ballerina of the Vienna State Ballet whose career was launched in Russia after she won a competition organised by Plisetskaya, said: “The last time I danced as the Black Swan she told me, ‘Don’t think about anything, just dance for you and for her’ — and tonight I did the same thing.  I was dancing for her. It was a magical and emotional night. I think one of the great London ballet nights.”  

standard.co.uk