Natalia Makarova has decided to retire from ballet, according to press reports Monday.
Currently filming a BBC television series in London, the 45-year-old international ballet star and 1983 Tony Award-winner (for "On Your Toes") was quoted in the New York Times as saying she hoped to continue acting and decided to stop dancing primarily because of the unrewarding roles she had been offered recently. "I do not feel old," she said. "But there are no challenges."
Makarova was last seen by local audiences in March, dancing an excerpt from Kenneth MacMillan's "Manon" and MacMillan's full-length "Romeo and Juliet" with American Ballet Theatre in Shrine Auditorium. Her last performances in New York were with the Berlin Ballet last July in Roland Petit's "Blue Angel."
A major artist of the Kirov Ballet, Leningrad, before she defected to the West in 1970, Makarova was especially noted for her interpretations of such classical roles as Giselle and Odette/Odile (in "Swan Lake") and she also ventured such 20th-Century repertory as the intense dance dramas of Antony Tudor and the sinewy, modern-dance influenced abstractions of Glen Tetley.