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For Love of Maya

May 07, 1988

Regarding Martin Bernheimer's carping review of Maya Plisetskaya and Company ("Plisetskaya Leads Bolshoi Vaudeville at Shrine," April 26).

If it is unfortunately true that the treacherous Shrine stage was starkly bare and the music taped, that the usual giddy segment of the audience felt compelled to applaud every lift of an eyebrow, even that the floral tributes seemed excessive to his snide sensibilities-- so what ?

Bernheimer has never demonstrated any real appreciation of the dance in general or ballet in particular, unless it is the lofty Balanchine or some morose, modernistic writhing.

On Sunday evening, energy and warmth and good spirits infused the huge auditorium. The enthusiastic dancers were on the whole superbly trained--the ladies charming and graceful and the men gallant and virile.

And Plisetskaya was still Plisetskaya. Heart-wrenchingly dramatic, intelligent and ineffably fluid. And beautiful.

As one who was first privileged to see her in 1959, I can say only that if she chooses to return for yet another encore at 82 or 92 or 102, I hope I can be there to cast garlands at her feet once more.

ROSLYN PHILIPSON

Long Beach

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