by SOPHIA D’ADAMO Staff Writer
Prima ballerina Polina Semionova has been exciting her audience since she first took a step on stage. This is especially evident in one of her recent roles as Nikiya in “La Bayadère”, performed Monday, May 26 in the American Ballet Theatre in New York City.
Semionova, born September 13, 1984 in Moscow, Russia, is a classical ballet dancer and a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. She received her training at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography and the Bolshoi Ballet Theatre.
Due to her extensive training, she was able to take on complex roles including Odette-Odile in “Swan Lake”, Marie in “The Nutcracker”, Princess Aurora in “The Sleeping Beauty”, Swanilda in “Coppélia”, Kitri in “Don Quixote”, Giselle, Cinderella, and Carmen, just to name a few.
One of her most impressive performances is Nikiya, a beautiful temple dancer.
Set in Royal India, “La Bayadère” is a story of external love, mystery, fate, vengeance, and justice.
Semionova beautifully portrays the drama of Nikiya, who is fought over by two warriors, Solor and High Brahmin, who are in love with her.
As the curtains rise, the story unfolds with Nikiya front and center with the other temple dancers celebrating the Indian Ritual of Fire.
Freshman Alexis Vigario said, “I love Polina. She is such a beautiful and elegant artist. I watch her all the time on YouTube through endless videos, especially ‘La Bayadère’. Since I am a dancer, it is truly inspiring!”
Semionova dominates every note of music while beautifully utilizing her full range of movement and still keeping the classical ballet forms, positions and transitions.
Freshman Gabriella Orpen said, “After watching Polina many times, I have grown to love the way that she dances. Her extension and her turn out are amazing.”
Semionova adds a lot character and variation to this role through her expressive dancing to really engage her audience.
Not only does the choreography complement the music tremendously, but Semionova’s dancing as well. It is obvious as she nails every turn, jump and leap perfectly that she really enjoys herself throughout the entire performance and that she commands the stage. She was born to dance and destined to become a professional dancer.
“I like to learn new ballets, new repertoire and not be just a classical dancer. You get to know new choreographers, new teachers and you can learn new styles. I know that some dancers come and do what they are used to, but I always like to take something because then you can learn new things,” said Semionova.
The final act brings the audience to their feet in a standing ovation as Semionova’s emotional and riveting expression of true love is apparent when she is reunited with Solor, her true love.
Whether you are a true dancer or someone who simply enjoys the arts, watching Semionova perform “La Bayadère” is well worth the money and sure to convert you into a fan.
Have you purchased your tickets to see Polina Semionova?