Backstage with Polina Semionova

All photos by Matthew Murphy


One look at Polina Semionova, the Moscow-born American Ballet Theatre principal, tells you destiny chose her to be a ballerina. Her supermodel looks—with that beautifully elongated torso and even longer legs—have made her a natural dancer, as well as a featured model of UNIQLO’s AIRism clothing line.

Pointe went backstage with Semionova during American Ballet Theatre’s spring season last year as she prepared to dance Odette/Odile in Swan Lake with David Hallberg. “It’s a combination of everything—beauty, emotion, partnership, contrast, technique, power and mystery,” she says. Though she has performed the role many times, it remains not only a signature, but a personal favorite. “The ballet is a piece of art that will never die,” she says. “Every time I dance it, I feel very honored.”

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