Svetlana Zakharova (dancer)

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Svetlana Zakharova
Svetlana Zakharova in Moscow 06-2015.jpg
Svetlana Zakharova in 2015
Born (1979-06-10) June 10, 1979 (age 36)
Lutsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Education Kiev Choreographic School, Vaganova Ballet Academy
Occupation Ballet dancer
Current group Bolshoi Ballet
Former groups Mariinsky Ballet

Svetlana Zakharova (Russian: Светлана Захарова) (born June 10, 1979) is a prima ballerina with both the Bolshoi Ballet and the La Scala Theatre Ballet.

Early life[edit]

Zakharova was born in Lutsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, on June 10, 1979. At age six, Svetlana was taken by her mother to learn folk dancing at a local studio. At age 10, she auditioned for and was accepted into the Kiev Choreographic School. Just four months later, however, her father's reassignment in the army to East Germany forced Svetlana's withdrawal from school. Six months later, her family returned to Ukraine and Svetlana auditioned again for the Kiev Choreographic School. She was readmitted and immediately joined the second class, under teacher Valeria Sulegina.

Mariinsky Ballet[edit]

In 1996–1997, she debuted with the Mariinsky Ballet, appearing as Maria with Ruben Bobovnikov, in Rostislav Zakharov's The Fountain of Bakhchisarai. In 2003–2004, she accepted a long-standing open offer with the Bolshoi, reportedly due to discontent with the Mariinsky.[1]

Today, Zakharova tours and guests with the world's great ballet companies. She is considered one of the greatest ballerinas of the generation and is highly regarded for her technical expertise, her exquisite footwork and her exceptionally high extensions, as well as her musicality.[2] Not all critics find her extreme positions aesthetically pleasing as they do not conform to 'classical' norms.[3]

In Italy she danced at La Scala Theatre with partner Roberto Bolle in such ballet as Swan Lake, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty and La Bayadère.

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


Zakharova was awarded the Prix Benois de la Danse in 2005 and the State Prize of the Russian Federation in 2006 [4]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Russian violinist Vadim Repin. The couple have one child, a daughter Anna, who was born on February 17, 2011. Zakharova had withdrawn from the Bolshoi Ballet tour to London in the summer of 2010 citing a hip injury; in fact she was pregnant at the time.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. During the 2013–14 Ukrainian Crisis Zakharova has been a vocal supporter of Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Russian annexation of Crimea which has severed her relationship with the Kiev Choreographic School in particular.[5][6] She is a member of United Russia party.


External links[edit]