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 ?
At the rehearsals I was working with my partners together with Ulanova and Marina Semyonova, and it was an exciting time for me.
Legendary ballerina dies, aged 102 LEGENDARY Soviet-era prima ballerina Marina Semyonova died yesterday aged 102.
However, I have actually seen, with the exception of Marina Semyonova, all the other contestants for greatness in this century and although many appeal, particularly Alicia Markova, Alexandra Danilova, Yvette Chauvire, and Maya Plisetskaya, I think I would have to choose Margot Fonteyn and Galina Ulanova.
I need regular check-ins with my two coaches, Raisa Struchkova and Marina Semyonova -- I call it my spring cleaning
Riffling through more than a half-century of dance memories, Plisetskaya recalls her youthful admiration for the ballerina Marina Semyonova, a Bolshoi star of the 1930s and 1940s, who, at eighty-eight, remains on the company's roster as a coach.
She is sought because she epitomizes the unadulterated and exacting Russian classical heritage, thanks to the watchful eyes of her two Moscow mentors, Marina Semyonova and Raissa Struchkova.