Born in Leningrad in 1939, Elena Tschernischova graduated from the Waganowa Institute in Leningrad, was a member of the Kirov Ballet and a ballet mistress in Odessa. In 1976 she became a first ballet mistress at the American Ballet Theatre New York. From 1991 to 1993 she directed the Vienna State Opera Ballet, where she showed »Don Quichotte« (1992) and »Giselle« (1993) in her choreographies. In 2013 she published her autobiography »Dancing on Water. A Life in Ballet, from the Kirov to the ABT«. Elena Tschernischova died in 2015 in her hometown.