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Semyonova, Marina (b. 1908)

Semyonova, Marina (b. 1908)

Soviet ballet dancer. Born Marina Timofeyevna Semyonova, June 12, 1908, in St. Petersburg, Russia; was the 1st important protégée of Agrippina Vaganova.

At 17, became a principal with the Leningrad Ballet and danced there from 1925 to 1929, a great exponent of classical ballet; made Bolshoi debut as Nikiya in La Bayadère (1930), which was to become a signature role; danced with Bolshoi Ballet (1930–52), as Odette/Odile, Aurora, and Raymonda, among others; danced Giselle at Paris Opéra partnered by Serge Lifar (1935); was among the 1st representatives of Soviet ballet to dance in the West (1930s), but often irritated Soviet authorities with her outspoken, independent nature; began teaching advanced company classes at Bolshoi (1952) and was still teaching at age 95.

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