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Russian Ballerina Is 75 Years Old

November 20, 2000

MOSCOW (AP) _ Russian prima ballerina Maya Plisetskaya danced past the three-quarter century mark Monday, celebrating her 75th birthday by performing at the Bolshoi Theater.

Plisetskaya is one of Russia’s most admired living cultural figures and her gala event at the Bolshoi was the lead story on private NTV television’s 10 p.m. news, outstripping events such as the arrival of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and problems at Moscow’s fogbound international airport.

President Vladimir Putin presented Plisetskaya with 75 roses, praised her for her innovative dancing and called her birthday ``a great holiday for all the nation.″

Plisetskaya was a standout in the Bolshoi’s renowned troupe for nearly 50 years but left in 1989 following disputes with then-director Yuri Grigorovich. She returned to the Bolshoi stage six years later.

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