Marina Timofeevna Semenova

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.