Semyonova, Marina (b. 1908)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

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.