Marina Semenova

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Marina Semyonova
BirthplaceSaint Petersburg, Russian Empire

Semenova, Marina Timofeevna


Born May 30 (June 12), 1908, in St. Petersburg, Soviet ballerina. People’s Artist of the USSR (1975).

In 1925, Semenova graduated from the Leningrad Choreographic School, where she studied under A. Ia. Vaganova. In the same year she joined the Leningrad Theater of Opera and Ballet, where she was a soloist until 1930. From 1930 to 1952 she was a soloist with the Bolshoi Theater. Her roles included the title role in Adam’s Giselle, the title role in Glazunov’s Raymonda, Nikiya in Minkus’ La Bayadère, and Odette-Odile in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

Semenova’s dancing was characterized by expressive body movements, vigorous leaps, excellent balance, and striking femininity. Semenova endowed classical dance with simplicity and naturalness and gave new social meaning to the characters of the heroines of old ballets. She toured France in 1935 and 1936. She taught at the Moscow Choreographic School from 1953 to 1960. Semenova became ballet mistress and répétiteur at the Bolshoi Theater of the USSR in 1953 and a teacher of the department of choreography at the A. V. Lunacharskii State Institute of Theatrical Arts in 1960. She received the State Prize of the USSR in 1941. Semenova has been awarded two orders and various medals.


M. T. Semenova. Moscow, 1953.
Ivanova, S. Marina Semenova. Moscow, 1965.
References in periodicals archive ?
After winning the praise of ballet legends, including Galina Ulanova, Marina Semenova and Yuri Grigorovich, he became the youngest person to be named a People's Artist of Russia in 2001.
Experienced trio Debbie Walters, Marina Semenova and Michelle Thomas should be kept busy in Manchester.
Perhaps under Vaganova's tutelage, Plisetskaya's style would have been more poetic, closer to that of the three dancers she most admired: Marina Semenova, Alla Shelest, and Galina Ulanova.