(b Moscow, 1 Feb. 1939; d Moscow, 8 Apr. 2009)
Soviet dancer. She studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School, a pupil of Elisaveta Gerdt, and graduated into the company in 1958 as a soloist. She came to prominence the following year in the role of Katerina, which she created in Grigorovich's Moscow staging of The Stone Flower. Giselle quickly followed (with Maximova then the youngest woman to dance that role at the Bolshoi), as did Kitri. Maximova became particularly associated with the ballets of Grigorovich, creating Masha in his 1966 staging of Nutcracker, Phrygia in his Spartacus (1968), and Aurora in his Sleeping Beauty (1973). She also created roles in several ballets by her husband, the Bolshoi dancer Vladimir Vasiliev, both in Russia and in the West. A very versatile dancer, she had a brilliant technique and a strikingly pliable body. Although she continued to dance with the Bolshoi for 30 years (she left the company in 1989 due to political disputes), she frequently appeared as a guest artist abroad, with Béjart's Ballet of the 20th Century in 1978, Petit's Ballet du Marseilles (1987), English National Ballet (then London Festival Ballet, 1989), the Australian Ballet, and National Ballet of Canada in 1990. She also appeared in many films, including Galatea (1978), Old Tango (1979), Gigolo and Gigoletta (1980, directed by her husband), La traviata (1982, directed by Zeffirelli), Fouetté (1986, directed by Vasiliev), Gappiniana (1987), and Volodia and Katia (1989). In 1982 she began teaching at the Choreography Department of the Lunacharsky Theatre Technicum. She finally retired from dancing in 1994 to work as ballet mistress and repetiteur, with the Kremlin Ballet and the Bolshoi, also to aid Vasiliev in staging the classical repertory outside Russia. From 2005 she and her last stage partner, Konstantin Matveev, ran a charity to help retired stage artists. She won the Gold Medal, Varna, 1964. People's Artist, USSR. Anna Pavlova Prize, Paris 1969.