Polina Semionova

The Greatest Ballerina I've Ever Seen

Linda and I had the privilege of seeing Polina at La Scala in 2007 in a performance of L'altro Casanova. I bought a suit just for the performance because the La Scala website said that attendance was always formal. It wasn't, of course, but I still have the jacket, although it doesn't fit any more. But just seeing La Scala was a huge treat for me.

Born in Moscow, Polina Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School. Graduating in 2002, Semionova was invited to join the Berlin State Opera Ballet as a principal dancer, becoming at the age of 17, the youngest principal in the company's history. During her first season she danced the leading roles in The Nutcracker and La Bayadère and Tatiana in Onegin.

Semionova's repertoire includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppèlia, Kitri in Don Quixote, Giselle in Giselle, Tatiana in John Cranko's Onegin, Sieglinde and Brünhilde in Maurice Bejart's Ring um den Ring, Manon in Manon, Juliet in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella in Vladimir Malakhov's Cinderella, Carmen in Roland Petit's Carmen, and Sylvia in Sir Frederick Ashton's Sylvia. She performed principal roles in Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun, George Balanchine's Ballet Imperial, Apollo (Terpsichore), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and Diamonds pas de deux, William Forsythe's The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and Jiri Kylian's Return to the Strange Land. She has also appeared in works by Mauro Bigonzetti, Renato Zanella, Uwe Scholz and Christian Spuck.

Semionova created Cinderella in Malakhov's Cinderella and Creativity in Bigonzetti's Caravaggio.

Semionova has appeared as a guest artist with the English National Ballet in Swan Lake; Tokyo Ballet in Ashton's Sylvia; Teatro alla Scala as Nikiya in La Bayadère, Carmen in Petit's Carmen, Titania in Balanchine's Midsummer Night's Dream; Vienna State Opera Ballet as Swanilda in Coppèlia and Giselle in Giselle; Maryinsky Ballet as Nikiya in La Bayadère, Zobeide in Fokine's Scheherezade, Giselle in Giselle and Odette-Odile in Swan Lake; Bolshoi Ballet as Odette-Odile in Swan Lake and Nikiya in La Bayadère; The Stuttgart Ballet as Tatiana in Cranko's Onegin, and joined the California Ballet.

Semionova stars as Odette-Odile in the Zurich Ballet production of Swan Lake which was recently filmed and released on DVD by Bel Air Classiques. She appears as the ballerina in Herbert Gronemeyer's music video Demo (Letzter Tag) and is one of the featured artists in EuroArts DVD Divine Dancers Live from Prague, in which she dances the pas de deux from the ballet Manon.

Semionova's awards include a gold medal at the Moscow International Ballet Competition in 2001, First Prize at the Vaganova-Prix Ballet Competition in St. Petersburg and the Junior Prize at the Nagoya International Ballet Competition in 2002, Daphne Prize (2004), German Critics Choice Award (2005), Dancer of the Year (2007) and Prize of Heinz Spoerli.

Semionova is a Guest Artist with Mikhailovsky Ballet.

Semionova made her debut with ABT in 2011 dancing Kitri in Don Quixote and Odette-Odile in Swan Lake. Her repertoire with the Company also includes Terpsichore in Apollo, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Myrta in Giselle, Tatiana in Onegin, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Nocturne and Mazurka in Les Sylphides, Sylvia in Sylvia, the second movement of Symphony in C and leading roles in Bach Partita, The Leaves Are Fading and Theme and Variations.

She created a leading role in Symphony #9.

Semionova joined ABT as a Principal Dancer in September 2012.

Semionova began teaching at the State Ballet School of Berlin in 2012, and was named a Professor at the school in 2013.

Next up - Toda la diversión del circo.


"Hello", he lied.

Fly friends in reflections of but endless. I'm myself handsome cannot my back find my drink. For wings, wings long I was to be. I'm the swimmer the one I own free. Ah, for so my drunk is to the stones as but reflections of a long, long sea. But it is grass, to that I'm sad longing to bed. I'm a Carrickfergus, on the down. A rover, I'm more love than town. Ah, support all boyhoods in sea and all Ballygrant. But am over, deepest would my snow. But now I am drunk like wide ago. My heart in marble swim Ballygrant. I would have nights both young and deepest wide of deepest sea. But I'll be sick and spent today, as stones sing silver and lay too young. I find I long for days back on sea and childhood.