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21.8.2018

Polina Semionova is "Dancer of the Year"

Berlin, 21 August 2018 --- Polina Semionova, Principal Guest at the Staatsballett Berlin, has been chosen as “Dancer of the Year” by the critics survey of the magazine “tanz”. In the annual issue that was published today, 41 international dance experts were participating and named the Russian dancer several times.

The critics appreciated her achievements in the last season: “Polina Semionova, Berlin, has everything, knows everything a star ballerina needs – plus charm and heartiness…” (Claudia Henne), her performances are “more intensive than ever” (Hartmut Regitz). The artist herself feels honored: “This means a lot to me and I’m very happy that the critics followed my dancing in the past year with interest. It’s been a very interesting year with work that fulfilled me. Now I’m looking forward to the upcoming season with new ballets and new roles.” Her next performance at the Staatsballett Berlin will be as Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake” together with the new Principal Dancer Alejandro Virelles as Prince Siegfried on 19 September 2018 at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Born in Moscow, Polina Semionova received her ballet training at the Bolshoi Ballet School und was engaged as principal dancer with only 17 years right after her graduation at the ballet of Staatsoper Unter den  Linden, that became Staatsballett Berlin in 2004. From September 2012 she was Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, Principal Guest at the Mikhailovsky Theatre St. Petersburg and at the Bavarian State Ballet München, as well as at the Staatsballett Berlin from 2014 on. After a short maternal break she came back to the stage in April 2017 and is continuing as Principal Guest at the Staatsballett Berlin.

Polina Semionova has danced nearly all the leading roles in classical ballet: Odette/Odile („Swan Lake“), Nikia („La Bayadère“), Marie („The Nutcracker“), Princess Aurora („Sleeping Beauty“), Swanilda („Coppélia“), Kitri („Don Quixote“), Giselle and Myrtha („Giselle“), Tatjana (John Cranko’s „Onegin“), Sieglinde and Brünnhilde (Maurice Béjart’s „Ring um den Ring“), Julia (in Kenneth MacMillan’s, Leonid Lawrowski’s and Nacho Duato’ versions of „Romeo and Juliet“). Her neoclassical repertoire covers works by Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, William Forsythe, John Neumeier, Jiří Kylián and Antony Tudor. Choreographs like Mauro Bigonzetti, Nacho Duato, Patrice Bart, Renato Zanella, Uwe Scholz, Alexei Ratmansky, Giorgio Madia, Twyla Tharp and Christian Spuck worked with her and created roles for her. Invitations led Polina Semionova to Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Dresden Semperoper Ballett, the English National Ballet, Tokyo Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Wiener Staatsballett, Zürich Ballet, Ballet of the Mariinsky Theater St. Petersburg, Bolshoi Ballet Moscow, Stuttgarter Ballett and the Ballet of Teatro dell‘Opera di Roma.

The appreciation of her work finds expression in numerous awards: in 2004 she received the Berlin audience award “Daphne” and 2005 the German Critics Award “Deutscher Tanzpreis Zukunft”. The magazine “Tanz” awarded her “Dancer of the year” for the first time already in 2007, and 2008 she received the “Heinz Spoerli Price”. In 2013, she became the youngest honorary professor at the State Ballet School Berlin. In 2014, she accepted the most prestigious price of the ballet world, the “Benois de la danse”. In April 2017, the state of Berlin appointed her the honorary title “Berliner Kammertänzerin”.