12:02 29 April 2009
Iconic Russian ballerina Ekaterina Maximova has died aged 70.
Maximova, who graced the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre for 30 years, died at her home. The cause of her death is yet to be determined.
Current artistic director of the Bolshoi, Yuri Burlaka, said: "This is an irretrievable loss. All Russians will mourn and remember this great ballerina."
Maximova had been working as a ballet coach following a career that spanned three decades at the Bolshoi where she took on most lead female roles of classical ballet.
After her debut as Masha in 'The Nutcracker' in 1958 until 1988 the ballerina became well known as 'Ekaterina the Great' for her impeccable style and versatility.
Maximova is survived by her husband and dance partner Vladimir Vasiliev, and her mother.
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