Larissa Ponomarenko, of Odessa, Ukraine, joined Boston Ballet’s artistic staff as ballet master for the 2011-2012 season. Larissa is from Odessa, Ukraine and a graduate of Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg. After working with Donetsk Ballet in Ukraine, she danced with Mississippi Ballet and Tulsa Ballet before joining Boston Ballet as a principal dancer in 1993.
Ponomarenko danced with Boston Ballet for 18 years. Her versatile repertoire includes Odette and Odile in Swan Lake, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, the title roles in Giselle and Cinderella, Medora in Le Corsaire, Swanhilda in Coppélia, Nikiya in La Bayadére, and countless other roles. Ponomarenko has also performed a wide repertoire of Balanchine works including Symphony in C, Who Cares?, The Four Temperaments, Diamonds, Divertimento No. 15, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Serenade. She has danced works by John Cranko, Antony Tudor, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Christopher Wheeldon, and Twyla Tharp, among many others. Over the years, Ponomarenko has worked closely with Boston Ballet Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo and has served as a muse for almost all of his ballets. She has also created roles in original works including Rhyme, choreographed for her by her husband, Viktor Plotnikov.
Ponomarenko has appeared internationally in galas and festivals and as a guest artist with English National Ballet in London, NBA Ballet Company in Tokyo, Opera Theatre of Rome, and Teatro Comunale of Florence in Italy. She was nominated for Benois de la Danse award in 2005 and is a recipient of the E. Virginia Williams Inspirational Award.