As Odetta in Swan Lake.Alexander Godunov as Prince Siegfried.Photo from the Bolshoi Theatre museum.
As Odetta in Swan Lake.
Alexander Godunov as Prince Siegfried.
Photo from the Bolshoi Theatre museum.
As Odetta in Swan Lake.Alexander Bogatyrev as Prince Siegfried.Photo from the personal archives.
As Odetta in Swan Lake.
Alexander Bogatyrev as Prince Siegfried.
Photo from the personal archives.
In the title part of Giselle.Photo from the personal archives.
In the title part of Giselle.
Photo from the personal archives.
In the title part of Giselle.Photo from the personal archives.
In the title part of Giselle.
Photo from the personal archives.
As Kitri in Don Quixote.Photo by Larissa Pedenchuk.
As Kitri in Don Quixote.
Photo by Larissa Pedenchuk.
As Kitri in Don Quixote.Valery Anisimov as Basilio.Photo from the personal archives.
As Kitri in Don Quixote.
Valery Anisimov as Basilio.
Photo from the personal archives.
As Nikia in La Bayadere.Alexander Godunov as Solor.Photo from the personal archives.
As Nikia in La Bayadere.
Alexander Godunov as Solor.
Photo from the personal archives.
As Shireen in A Legend of Love.Alexander Bogatyrev as Ferkhad.Photo by Larissa Pedenchuk.
As Shireen in A Legend of Love.
Alexander Bogatyrev as Ferkhad.
Photo by Larissa Pedenchuk.
As Phrygia in Spartacus.Photo by Georgi Soloviev(from the Bolshoi Theatre museum).
As Phrygia in Spartacus.
Photo by Georgi Soloviev
(from the Bolshoi Theatre museum).
As Anastasia in Ivan the Terrible.Photo from the personal archives.
As Anastasia in Ivan the Terrible.
Photo from the personal archives.
As Katerina in The Stone Flower.Leonid Kozlov as Danila.Photo by Georgi Soloviev(from the Bolshoi Theatre museum).
As Katerina in The Stone Flower.
Leonid Kozlov as Danila.
Photo by Georgi Soloviev
(from the Bolshoi Theatre museum).
As Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Irek Mukhamedov as Romeo. Photo by Larissa Pedenchuk.
As Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.
Irek Mukhamedov as Romeo.
Photo by Larissa Pedenchuk.
As Rita in The Golden Age.Photo from the personal archives.
As Rita in The Golden Age.
Photo from the personal archives.
As Rita in The Golden Age. Photo by Larissa Pedenchuk.
As Rita in The Golden Age.
Photo by Larissa Pedenchuk.
Pas de deux from La Sylphide.Yuri Posokhov as James.Photo by Larissa Pedenchuk.
Pas de deux from La Sylphide.
Yuri Posokhov as James.
Photo by Larissa Pedenchuk.

Awards

1969 — III prize at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow.

1972 — III prize at the International Ballet Competition in Varna and II prize at the All-Union Competition of Choreographers and Ballet Dancers in Moscow

1975 г. — the Lenin Komsomol Prize

1976 — I prize at the I International Ballet Competition in Tokyo, Anna Pavlova Prize from the Paris Academy of Dancing, the title „Honored Artist of the RSFSR”

1977 — State Prize of the USSR for the role of Valentina in Angara ballet (1976)

1982 — People’s Artist of the RSFSR

1986 — the title „People’s Artist of the USSR” and a prestigious theatrical British award from the London Evening Standard

2004 — she was awarded with a „Crystal Rose of Donetsk” as a permanent participant of the International Festival the „World Ballet Stars” regularly held in Donetsk (Ukraine)

2008 — she was awarded the Ballet magazine Soul of Dance prize (Dance Maitre nomination)

						

Biography

Ludmila Semenyaka was born in St. Petersburg in 1952, January 16. She finished the ballet school (now the St. Petersburg Academy of Russian Ballet n. a. A.Y. Vaganova). In 1970 she joined the Ballet Company of the Leningrad State academic opera and ballet theater n.a. S. M. Kirov (now Mariinsky) where she rehearsed under the guidance of Irina Kolpakova and made a surprisingly rapid progress.

Repertoire

Her Bolshoi Theater career

Semenyaka wonderfully exemplifies how a representative of a Petersburg ballet manner can “adapt” to a Moscow style, merging in her dance the “calligraphy” of the former with the bravura of the latter.

Her real career started at the Bolshoi Theater where she moved in 1972. The great Galina Ulanova became her teacher-repetiteur. Afterwards she also worked under the guidance of Marina Semenova, Nina Timofeeva, Marina Kondratyeva.

Leading roles in all classical ballets and in all ballets produced by Grigorovich which were on at the theater at that time appeared in her repertoire one after another.

Odette-Odile (Swan Lake by P. Tchaikovsky. Choreography by A. Gorsky, Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov, A. Messerer, 1972)

Marie (Nutcracker by by P. Tchaikovsky, choreography by Y. Grigorovich , 1972)

Princess Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty by P.Tchaikovsky, choreography by M. Petipa, Y. Grigorovich version, 1973)

Giselle (Giselle by A. Adam; choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, Marius Petipa, production by L. Lavrovsky, 1974, and then in Y. Grigorovich version)

Odette-Odile, Hungarian bride (Swan Lake; in the version by Yuri Grigorovich, 1976)

Kitri (Don Quixote by L. Minkus, choreography by A. Gorsky, 1977)

Nikia (Shadows scene, La Bayadère by L. Minkus. Choreography by M. Petipa, 1977)

Princess Florina (The Sleeping Beauty, 1981)

Soloist (Chopiniana to music by F. Chopin, choreography by Mikhail Fokine, 1982)

Raimonda (Raimonda by A.Glazunov. Choreography by M. Petipa in the version of Y. Grigorovich, 1984)

Ballerina (Petrushka, by I. Stravinsky choreography by M. Fokine, 1984)

Shireen (A Legend of Love. Music by Arif Melikov, 1974)

Phrygia (A. Khachaturian’s Spartacus, 1975)

Valentina (Angara by A. Eshpai, A. Arbuzov’s “Irkutsk story” adaptation to the ballet, 1976)

Anastasia (Ivan the Terrible to music by S. Prokofiev, 1977)

Katerina (Stone Flower by S. Prokofiev, 1979)

Juliet (Romeo and Juliet by S. Prokofiev, 1984)

Rita (The Golden Age. Music by Dmitry Shostakovich, 1987)

(all produced by by Yuri Grigorovich)

Also title roles in ballets:

Lady Macbeth (Macbeth by K. Molchanov, V. Vasiliev production, 1981)

Hero (Love for Love. Music by Tikhon Khrennikov. Vera Boccadoro production. Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing adaptation to the ballet, 1978)

Roxane (Cyrano de Bergerac by M. Konstante, choreography by R. Peti, 1988) — creator of the role at the Bolshoi Theater

Beatrice (Love for Love, 1985)

Fanny Cerrito (Pas de Quatre to music by C. Pugni, Choreography by J. Perrot in the version of A. Dolin, 1993)

Lady of Heart (Fantasy on the Casanova Theme to music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mikhail Lavrovsky production, 1994)

In 2008 she was the first to dance the role of Marie-Antoinette in Boris Asfiev’s The Flames of Paris produced by A. Ratmansky after V. Vainonen

Outside the Bolshoi Theater she danced the role of Sonya Marmeladova, created specifically for her in the ballet Crime and Punishment to music by Arvo Part, staged by May Murdmaa at Estonia theater (Tallinn) in 1990.

On repeated occasions she performed with the St. Petersburg state academic opera and ballet theatre n. a. M.P. Mussorgsky, where her repertoire included the title role in Herman Lovenskjold’s La Sylphide (choreography August Bournonville in a version by E. M. von Rosen)

She danced on practically all ballet stages of the former Soviet Union and frequently toured abroad — with the Bolshoi Theater; as an invited soloist; as a member of the troupe. She danced with the New-York American Ballet Theatre (ABT), Paris Opera (on the stage of Grand Opéra), Royal Swedish Ballet, Argentina Teatro Colon, English National Ballet, Scottish national ballet and other troupes.

Semenyaka was particularly popular in Great Britain and Argentina. A famous English critic Clement Crisp wrote about Semenyaka: “This is a classical dance in its greatness and purity, exquisite technique, combined with extraordinary expressiveness. Her art has an impeccable pedigree, is part of a living tradition, directly related to the famous St. Petersburg ballerinas XIX century. Ludmila Semenyaka with honor continues the tradition of his style of dance, aristocracy, which permeated her every gesture ”.

Over the years her repertoire extended and an included others ballets and miniatures, among them:

Le Spectre de la rose to music by C. M. von Weber (choreography by M. Fokine)

Serenade and Theme and Variations to music by P. Tchaikovsky (choreography by G. Balanchine)

The Dying Swan to music by C. Saint-Saens (choreography by M. Fokine)

She finished her career as a ballet dancer in 1997.

In 2002 she continued her cooperation with the Bolshoi Theater as a teacher-repetiteur. She coaches Svetlana Zakharova, Yelena Andrienko, Anastasia Goryacheva, Anastasia Meskova, Viktoria Osipova and others.

At the Moscow “School of modern play” theater she played the role of Polina Andreevna in Seagull by A. Tchekhov and Lera in An excellent cure for melancholy after the play by S. Zlotnikov. Both performances were produced by the artistic director of the theater Iosif Raikhelgauz, and what is more — the second one was staged especially for her.

She repeatedly conducted workshops, participated in the work of international juries of international competitions of ballet artists: in Ljubljana (1998), in the Crimea (“Artek’s fouettes” n.a. Grigorovich, 1998, 1999), named after Serge Lifar (Kyev, 1999), in Nagoya (Japan, annually since 2000), the international program “Benois de la danse” (Stuttgart, 2000), the International competition of ballet artists and choreographers in Moscow (2005, 2009), the International competition of ballet artists and choreographers in Astana (Kazakhstan, 2010).

She débuted as a choreographer in 1999, when she prepared a choreographic piece From role to role to music by W.I. Mozart for her solo in the Concert Hall n.a. P.I. Tchaikovsky.

She staged The Fountain of Bakhchisarai by B. Asafiev (2008, Astrakhan state musical theater, her choreography, she also designed original costumes), Giselle (2009, Yekaterinburg opera and ballet theater, L.M. Lavrovsky production, she also designed costumes), (2010, she was the author of the new version of the libretto and original choreography, using choreographic fragments of L. Ivanov, M. Petipa, A. Gorsky)