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Svetlana Zakharova (dancer)

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Ballet Dancer

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Svetlana Zakharova

Svetlana Zakharova (dancer) httpssmediacacheak0pinimgcom736xcdf853

June 10, 1979 (age 45) (

Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet

Minkus: La Bayadere: Teatro alla Scala

Yurii Zakharov, Halyna Zakharova

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Roberto Bolle, Ulyana Lopatkina, Vadim Repin, Diana Vishneva, Polina Semionova

Prima ballerina a clip with svetlana zakharova

Svetlana Yuryevna Zakharova (Russian: Светлана Юрьевна Захарова, Ukrainian: Світлана Юріївна Захарова; born June 10, 1979) is a prima ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet and an étoile of the La Scala Theatre Ballet.


Svetlana Zakharova (dancer) Svetlana Zakharova stretching dance Pinterest

Svetlana zakharova stretching warm up in italy

Early life

Svetlana Zakharova (dancer) Svetlana Zakharova on Pinterest Swan Lake

Svetlana Zakharova was born in Lutsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, on June 10, 1979. At the age of six, she was taken by her mother to learn folk dancing at a local studio, and by the age of 10, she had auditioned and was accepted into the Kyiv Choreography School. Valeria Sulegina was one of her teachers.

Svetlana Zakharova (dancer) Svetlana Zakharova Dancer BalletAndOperacom

In 1995, after six years at the Kiev School, Zakharova entered the Young Dancers' Competition (Vaganova-Prix) in St. Petersburg. The youngest contestant, she took second prize and was invited to continue her training in the graduating course of St Petersburg's Vaganova Academy. It was the first time in the school's history to allow a student to skip two grades.

After attending the pre-eminent Russian ballet school only for one year, Svetlana Zakharova joined the Mariinsky ballet in 1996.

Mariinsky Ballet

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Svetlana Zakharova debuted with the Mariinsky Ballet in 1996, appearing as Maria with Ruben Bobovnikov, in Rostislav Zakharov's The Fountain of Bakhchisarai.

In 1997, after her first year with the Mariinsky, just 18 years old, Svetlana Zakharova was promoted to principal dancer.

Her first partner was principal Igor Zelensky. Olga Moiseyeva was her great coach.

Bolshoi Ballet

By October 2003, Svetlana Zakharova "was getting itchy feet" at the Mariinsky, and moved to the Bolshoi Ballet. The offer from the Bolshoi company was longstanding, and the departure from the Mariinsky was reportedly due to discontent with that company.

Svetlana Zakharova is coached by Lyudmila Semenyaka.

Rise to Fame as Principal Ballerina

From 1999 on, turning 20 years old, Svetlana Zakharova regularly performed as a guest soloist at the Paris Opera where she worked with French choreographer Pierre Lacotte. Lacotte is viewed as a leading authority on classical ballet contributing to the career of Evgenia Obraztsova and Hannah O'Neill. Svetlana Zakharova was the first Russian principal dancer performing in Paris and became a world star as of 2000.

One stunningly successful assignment followed another, ranging from great classical roles like Giselle, Odette-Odile in "Swan Lake", Aurora in "Sleeping Beauty", and Nikiya in "La Bayadère," to such modern works as Balanchine's "Serenade", "Symphony in C" and "Apollo" as well as Mac-Millian's "Manon" and Neumeier's "Now and Then"

At La Scala Theatre Ballet in Italy, Svetlana Zakharova danced with partner Roberto Bolle in Swan Lake, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, and La Bayadère.

Zakharova was one of the dancers featured in the 2006 documentary Ballerina.


Svetlana Zakharova is nicknamed the Tsarina of the dance.


She is viewed as one of the greatest ballerinas of her generation and is highly regarded for her technical expertise, her exquisite footwork, and her exceptionally high extensions, and her musicality. Not all critics find her extreme positions aesthetically pleasing, as they do not conform to classical ballet norms.

Vladimir Vasiliev, director of the Bolshoi ballet from 1995 to 2000 and as a principal dancer on a level with Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov, described Svetlana Zakharova as "nature endowed" having everything a girl dreaming of ballet could want.

He pointed out that perfection had one drawback, the dryness of the limit.

When working briefly with Svetlana Zakharova, Vasiliev changed his idea of her - of the actress. He felt the inner churning of her emotions and the lively beating of her heart.

"In an adagio from the ballet "Macbeth", Svetlana was for me a joyous revelation."

In the flesh, it's hard not to be a little dazzled by Svetlana Zakharova's improbably fine features and impossibly big blue eyes - but these are merely the finishing touches of a long, strong, beautifully proportioned body that's one of the great balletic instruments of our times.


  • 1997 : Vaganova-Prix Young Dancers Competition, Sankt-Peterburg (2nd prize)
  • 1999 : Golden Mask for Serenade
  • 2000 : Golden Mask for The Sleeping Beauty
  • 2005 : Prix Benois de la Danse for Hippolita (Titania) in A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • 2006 : State Prize of the Russian Federation
  • 2015 : Prix Benois de la Danse for Marguerite Gautier in "The Lady of the Camellias" by John Neumeier and Mekhmene-Banu in "Légende d'amour" by Yury Grigorovich
  • Personal life

    Svetlana Zakharova is married to Russian violinist Vadim Repin, and the couple have one child, a daughter Anna, who was born on February 17, 2011. She had withdrawn from the Bolshoi Ballet tour to London in the summer of 2010 citing a hip injury; she was pregnant at the time. Zakharova returned to dancing, and performed in London on May 15, 2011, in a gala performance celebrating Soviet ballerina Galina Ulanova.

    A member of United Russia party, Svetlana Zakharova was a vocal supporter of Russian president Vladimir Putin and the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation during the Ukrainian crisis, which led to a break in her relationship with the Kyiv Choreographic School in particular.


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