Svetlana Zakharova Ballet Gala
FRANCESCA DA RIMINI
MUSIC Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky
CHOREOGRAPHY Yuri Possokhov
RAIN… BEFORE IT FALLS
MUSIC George Frederic Handel,
CHOREOGRAPHY Patrick de Bana
DESIGN Yan Kalnberzin
STROKES THROUGH THE TAILS
MUSIC Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
CHOREOGRAPHY Marguerite Donlon
Svetlana Zakharova was born in Lutsk, in the Ukraine, on 10 June 1979. From the age of six she went to a local dance studio, where she practised among others folk dancing, but no ballet. At the age of ten she joined the Kiev Choreographic School where she trained mainly with Valeria Sulegina.
In 1995, having finished six years at the Kiev School, Svetlana entered the International Young Dancers' Competition in St. Petersburg. She won second prize with her performance of Princess Florine in the Blue Bird Pas de Deux from Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty, the variation from Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and the 1st variation from Paquita.
Following the competition she was allowed to continue her training at the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg. Instead of the expected second course, she was admitted directly to the third, the graduating course (in the class of Yelena Yevteyeva, the distinguished Kirov ballerina of the previous generation). While still a student at the Vaganova Academy Svetlana performed the Shades Act of La Bayadиre, Masha in The Nutcracker, the Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote, and Dying Swan on the stage of the Mariinsky Theatre.
In June 1996 Svetlana graduated from the Vaganova Academy, performing Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. She immediately joined the Mariinsky Ballet. She was just 17. A year later she was promoted to principal dancer.
In the Mariinsky company Svetlana was taken under the experienced wings of Olga Moiseyeva, with whom she would build a lasting rapport. Preparing all the new roles with her, Moiseyeva quickly became the key-figure in Svetlana's artistic development.
Svetlana was soon singled out as one the of most cherished young ballerinas of the Mariinsky. Major assignments succeeded each other rapidly and during the seven seasons that she danced with the Mariinsky she learned the bulk of the company's repertory, ranging from the great classical roles like Giselle, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Nikiya in La Bayadиre and Medora in Le Corsaire, to most of the new choreographies the Mariinsky adopted in these years, including Balanchine's Serenade, Symphony in C, Apollo and Jewels, as well as MacMillan's Manon and Neumeier's Now and Then.
She is a recipient of the Golden Mask Award (best female role in ballet) in 1999 for her performance in Balanchine's Serenade and in 2000 for her interpretation of Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. She also received nominations in 1998 for Giselle and in 2002 for Now and Then.
Svetlana took part in all the major tours of the Mariinsky Ballet and from 1999 on she was invited as a guest star by the main ballet companies of the world, including New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet, La Scala in Milan, English National Ballet, and New National Theatre Ballet in Tokyo.
As of October 2003 Svetlana started dancing as a principal with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. At the Bolshoi she is rehearsing her roles with Ludmilla Semenyaka, the star ballerina from the previous generation.
Svetlana Zakharova is an Honoured Artist of Russia since June 6, 2005, a People's Artist of Russia since February 21, 2008.