Name: Svetlana Zakharova
Full name: Svetlana Yuryevna Zakharova
birth place: Lutsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
birth date: 3 June 1979
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.
In 1995, after six years at the Kyiv School, Zakharova entered the Young Dancers' Competition 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 for one year, Zakharova joined the Mariinsky ballet in 1996.
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, at 18, Zakharova was promoted to principal dancer.
By 2003, Zakharova moved to the Bolshoi Ballet.
From 1999 on Zakharova regularly performed as a guest soloist at the Paris Opera where she worked with French choreographer Pierre Lacotte who is 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.
Successful assignments followed, ranging from great classical roles like Giselle, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, and Nikiya in La Bayadère, to modern works as Balanchine's Serenade, Symphony in C and Apollo as well as McMillan's Manon and Neumeier's Now and Then.
Svetlana Zakharova is a permanent guest at Tokyo's New National Theater, she is also under contract with La Scala in Milan, becoming the first Russian Prima Ballerina there and regularly dances at Swan Lake, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty and La Bayadère with Roberto Bolle as her most regular partner.
Zakharova is viewed as one of the greatest ballerinas of her generation and is highly regarded for her technical expertise.
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 Zakharova as "nature endowed" having everything a girl dreaming of ballet could want.
"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
2010 : Officier des Arts et des Lettres (France)
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.
Zakharova is married to Russian violinist Vadim Repin, and they have one child, daughter Anna (b. 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.
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