Benois de la Danse laureate

Benois de la Danse nominee

Born in Moscow, Polina Semionova studied at the Moscow Choreographic Academy. Upon graduating in 2002, she was invited to join the Berlin State Opera Ballet, where, at the age of 17, she became the youngest principal in the company’s history. During her first season she danced 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, Swanhilda in Coppélia, 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 Kenneth Mac Millan’s Manon, Juliet in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet and the title roles in Roland Petit’s Carmen and Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia. She also performs principal roles in Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun, George Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial, Apollo, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and Diamonds from Jewels, William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and Jiri Kylian’s Return to the Strange Land. In addition, she has appeared in works by Mauro Bigonzetti, Renato Zanella, Uwe Scholz and Christian Spuck. Semionova created the title role in Vladimir Malakhov’s Cinderella and the role of Creativity in Bigonzetti’s Caravaggio.

Semionova has appeared as a guest artist with the English National Ballet, the Tokyo Ballet, Teatro alla Scala, the Vienna State Opera Ballet, the Mariinsky Theater, the Bolshoi Theater, the Stuttgart Ballet and the California Ballet. She is also guest artist of the Mikhailovsky Theater.

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 Grönemeyer’s music video Demo (Letzer Tag) and is one of the featured artists in EuroArts DVD Divine Dancers Live from Prague.

Semionova’s awards include a gold medal at the Moscow International Competition of Ballet Dancers in 2001, first prize at the Vaganova-Prix Ballet Competition in St. Petersburg and junior prize at the Nagoya International Ballet Competition in 2002, the Daphne Prize in 2004, German Critics Choice Award in 2005, Dancer of the Year and the Heinz Spoerli Prize in 2007.

Semionova made her debut with American Ballet Theater in 2011 dancing Kitri in Don Quixote and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. Her repertoire with ABT, where she became a principal dancer in September 2012, also includes leading roles in Apollo, La Bayadère, Giselle, Onegin, Romeo and Juliet, Sylvia and Les Sylphides.