27 July 1936
The birth of Maris Liepa
The future dancer was born in the capital of Latvia. His father was a singer in his youth and then, when he lost his voice, he began working as a stage master at the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Riga. Which is where Maris’s stage debut took place – he sang in a boys’ choir in the opera “Carmen”. Later, however, Maris was placed into the Riga Choreography School. When he was 13 years old he was already being entrusted with adult parts – for instance, the seguidilla in “Don Juan”, the cracovienne and the mazourka in “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, the dance of Chinese coolies in “The Red Poppy”. Maris also did artistic gymnastics and swimming, having become Latvia’s champion in freestyle swimming.