Lyudmila Semenyaka

Людмила Семеняка

Ballet Master-Repetiteur


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.

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.

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”.

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.


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