#TBT Video: Polina Semionova Rehearsing "La Bayadère"

The rehearsal studio is a sacred place for dancers. It’s where they assume roles of new and timeless works, transforming their movement to convey the ballets we cherish on stage. This process is intimate and personal, and can reveal a dancer’s ability to become the artist we see outside the studio. 
In this video from 2006, we see Polina Semionova rehearsing Nikiya’s variation from Act I of La Bayadère. Instructing her is Vladimir Malakhov, who chose her only four years earlier when she was 18 to join the Berlin State Opera Ballet—the youngest principal dancer in the company’s history. The piano accompaniment supports Polina's  long lines as she expands within the space. She is becoming Nikiya, using this simple variation to play with the beautiful port de bras unique to the ballet. At 5’ 9”, she lengthens beyond her limits, proving that costumes and a proscenium stage are only additional ornamentation. Moments like this reveal Polina's sensitivity to the music and her individual artistry—two qualities that have made her one of the most beautiful dancers performing today. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

 

 

Latest Posts


Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB

NYCB's Maria Kowroski Reflects on the Challenges, Joys and Mysteries of Balanchine’s "Mozartiana"

The first time I was called to learn Mozartiana, I didn't think I would actually get to do it. It's a coveted ballerina role in the company, and I was still early in my career. But I got to dance it once or twice, and then not again for many years. The ballet isn't in our repertoire that often, so each time we've performed it I've been at a different level as a person and as an artist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Ask Amy: How Can I Overcome My Fear of Pirouettes on Pointe?

I have a terrible fear of falling when doing turns on pointe. I sometimes cry in class when we have to do new turns that I'm not used to. I can only do bad singles on a good day, while some of my classmates are doing doubles and triples. How can I get over this fear? —Gaby

Keep reading SHOW LESS
xmb photography, Courtesy The Washington Ballet

The Washington Ballet's Sarah Steele on Her At-Home Workouts

Ballet at home: Since she's not preparing for any immediate performances, Steele takes ballet barre three to four times a week. "I'm working in more of a maintenance mode," she says, prioritizing her ankles and the intrinsic muscles in her feet. "If you don't work those muscles, they disappear really quickly. I've been focusing on a baseline level of ballet muscle memory."

What she's always working on: Strengthening her glute-hamstring connection (the "under-butt" area), which provides stability for actions like repetitive relevés and power for jumps. Bridges are her go-to move for conditioning those muscles. "Those 'basic food group'–type exercises are some of the best ones," she says.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks