Alla Savchenko 

March 3rd, 1934 - February 1st, 2022


Suddenly, but peacefully, Alla passed away in her sleep on the morning of February 1, 2022.

Alla Borisovna Savchenko (nee Scherbinina) was destined to become a ballerina. Born in Moscow, U.S.S.R on March 3, 1934 to Bolshoi Ballet dancers Boris Vasilievich Scherbinin & Lubov Semenovna Popovich, Alla began her ballet training at an early age and graduated from the Moscow Ballet School with a diploma of excellence.

Alla joined the famed Bolshoi Ballet in 1953 where she had the great fortune of being coached by renowned ballerina Marina Semyonova who had recently transitioned to the role of ballet master at the Bolshoi. Semyonova was the first Russian ballet star to graduate from Agrippina Vaganova’s now legendary Vagonova Ballet Academy.

Alla danced a variety of soloist roles while at the Bolshoi Ballet, perhaps the most memorable of which was the role of The Little Humpbacked Horse in the ballet of the same name.  Alla’s interpretation of the role she originated can still be viewed today in the 1964 movie adaptation of The Little Humpbacked Horse in which she stars alongside notable Russian ballet legends Maya Plisetskaya and Vladimir Vasiliev.  Alla also shone as Firegirl in “Stone’s Flower”, Angel in “Fire of Paris”, the Nutcracker doll in “The Nutcracker”, the sister in “Cinderella”, the dance of the little swans in “Swan Lake”, Little Red Riding Hood and Fairy Tale Girls in “Sleeping Beauty”, and more.

In 1974, Alla retired from the Bolshoi Ballet and became Ballet Master and Choreographer for the Sovrenennik Theatre in Moscow, where she worked until 1979.

Alla arrived in Canada in June of 1981 and, to the benefit of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, joined its artistic staff.  Alla became a Canadian Citizen in 1984.  

As ballet master with the RWB, Alla taught company class, rehearsed the dancers, and was the right-hand woman of many choreographers.  Alla shaped the dancers of the company during her tenure at the RWB.  She inspired with her pristine technique, her demonstrative acting ability, and her palpable love of the creativity of the art form.  Unlike many Soviet-era ballet teachers, who are often known for their strict and austere style of coaching, this was not the aura Alla exuded.  Instead, Alla constantly radiated joy and positivity.  She always seemed to be in a good mood.  She was endlessly supportive of her dancers - always pushing them to excel, and always believing in them.  Alla's signature elegance and bright spirit that shone through her dance career continued to shine from her from the front of the rehearsal room.  The indelible and positive impact Alla had on the lives and careers of countless dancers over the years cannot be overstated.

Sadly, Alla’s tenure in the studio was cut far too short.  In the summer of 1996, Alla suffered a stroke which paralyzed the left side of her body.  She moved to Deer Lodge Centre, a personal care home, and funds were raised by friends and former dancers to purchase a power wheelchair for her mobility.   

Despite having every right to be bitter about her ​circumstances, or to wallow in self-pity, it was not​in Alla's character to do so.  

Instead, Alla continued to exude her bright spirit, her joy, her positivity, as well as her signature elegance, as she gracefully glided around the halls of Deer Lodge.  She did so right up until her last days. 

Alla always focused on the bright side of things.  She kept her mind busy.  She found beauty all around her.  She made friends easily.  She laughed heartily and often.  She remained young at heart.  She expressed gratitude endlessly.  She remained her elegant self, maintaining her always-dignified appearance, with her nails painted red, sporting make-up and red lipstick, and coordinating her outfits with a scarf and earrings every day.

Alla maintained a sharp mind right up until her passing, and she enjoyed engaging others on many topics, whether it pertained to philosophical matters, current events, or her "crush" - violinist/conductor André Rieu.  Alla could always be counted on to  share her thoughts and feelings openly, genuinely, and respectfully.

Alla was a breath of fresh air to everyone who encountered her.  She was an example for all of us - a truly beautiful and delightful embodiment of how to ​live a life full of grace.  She was an inspiration not only to countless dancers, but to everyone she met.

Alla was predeceased by her parents, Boris and Lubov, her sister Svetlana, and her husband Alexander (Sasha) Savchenko.  She is survived by her family in Russia: her son Alexey Larmin, her granddaughter, Mary Larmina, and her great granddaughter, Mia.  Despite the great distance, Alla remained close with her family through frequent phone calls and letters.  Alla was especially close to her granddaughter, despite the fact that they had only met in person on one occasion, when the RWB was on tour in Russia in the 1980's.  Alla was ​thrilled to have become a great grandmother to baby Mia in the fall of 2021, joyfully sharing this news with everyone she could.

Over the years, Alla endeared herself to - and made many friends among - the staff and residents of Deer Lodge.  A heartfelt thank you to all of the staff at Deer Lodge, both on tower 5, and previously on Tower 7, and all with whom she came into contact and who took such wonderful care of her over the years.  Thank you, too, to everyone who made special efforts over the years to stay connected with Alla, whether by phone calls, letters, or visits.  A special thank you is owed to her friend Raisa, and to Jan Routledge, who visited regularly and assisted Alla greatly over the years.

As per her wishes, Alla's ashes will eventually be spread in Assiniboine Park near the river where she spent many hours over the last two decades visiting with and feeding her beloved squirrels.  The life of such a special soul demands a celebration and, while no firm plans are in place, it is hoped that this can occur sometime in the summer of 2022.   

Any plans will be updated here as well as on a special commemorative page on Facebook (  If you are not on Facebook, you can leave your memories below.  However, if you are on Facebook please consider also sharing your memories and photos there as it will allow Alla's family to see your tributes.  Please feel free to invite to the group anyone who was fortunate enough to know this beautiful woman.  By sharing your memories and photos, we can jointly celebrate this extraordinary woman, and Alla's family can get a glimpse into the rich life that Alla lived and what a profound impact she had on the lives of so many.

A Memorial Tree was planted for ALLA
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at 1442 Main Street
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