Plisetskaya, Maya (mäˈyä plēsĕtsˈkäyä) [key], 1925–, Russian dancer. Pliesetskaya became a soloist with the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on graduating from its school in 1943. She soon gained recognition as one of the world's foremost ballerinas, combining flawless technique with a sensitivity to emotional nuance. Her roles ranged from Odette-Odile in the romantic Swan Lake to the passionate title role in Carmen. Her memoir, I, Maya Plistetskaya (tr. 2001), reveals the difficulties she suffered as an artist in the Soviet Union.