Svetlana was born in Lutsk, Ukraine, on June 10, 1979. At age six, her mother took her to learn folk dancing at a local studio. At age 10, Svetlana 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 the Ukraine and Svetlana auditioned again for the Kiev Choreographic School. She was readmitted and immediately joined the second class, under teacher Valeria Sulegina.
In 1996–1997, she debuted with the Mariinsky Ballet , appearing as Maria with Ruben Bobovnikov, in Rostislay Zakhavoy’s The Fountain of Bakhchisarai. In 2003–2004, she accepted a long-standing open offer with the Bolshoi.
Svetlana now tours and dances as a guest with the world’s great ballet companies. She is considered one of the greatest ballerinas of her generation. She is highly regarded for her technical expertise, for her beautiful feet and for her exceptionally high extensions, as well as her great artistry.
She is married to a Russian violinist Vadim Repin, and they have one child, a daughter Anna, who was born on February 17, 2011. Svetlana returned to dancing, and performed in London on May 15, 2011, in a gala performance celebrating Galina Ulanova
Through her time at the Mariinsky Ballet she danced many rolls, here are a few:
Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux; an eight minute piece of music that Tchaikovsky belatedly created for Act III of Swan Lake
The Dying Swan;
Maria (The Fountain of Bakhchisarai. Music by Boris Astafiev. Choreography by Rostislav Zakharov);
Masha (Clara, The Nutcracker. Choreography by Vassili Vainonen);
Medora (Le Corsaire. Choreography by Pyotr Gusev after Marius Petipa);
Bride (Les Noces. Music by Igor Stravinsky. Alexei Miroshnichenko production);
Queen of the Dryads (Don Quixote);
7th Waltz and Mazur (Chopiniana);
Princess Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty. Choreography by Marius Petipa, revised version by Konstantin Sergeyev. Revival of Mariu§гe Petipa’s production by Sergei Vikharev);
Serenade (Choreography by Georges Balanchine);
Odette-Odile (Konstantin Sergeyev version);
Soloist (Poem of Ecstasy to music by Alexander Scriabin. Alexei Ratmansky production);
Soloist Part 1 (Symphony in C);
Nikia (La Bayadere. Choreography by Marius Petipa, revised version by Vladimir Ponomarev, Vakhtang Chabukiani. Revival of Petipa’s production by Sergei Vikharev);
Soloist in Diamonds (Jewels);
Soloist (Now and Then to music to Mariusгe Ravel. John Neumeier production);
Young Lady (The Young Lady and The Hooligan to music by Dmitry Shostakovich. Choreography by Konstantin Boyarsky);
Zobeide (Scheherazade), Juliet (Romeo and Juliet. Choreography by Ltonid Lavrovsky);
Grand Pas (Paquita);
Middle Duet (to music by Yuri Khanon. Alexei Ratmansky production);
In 2001-2003 Svetlana was a permanent participant to the International Ballet Festival “Mariinsky”, which rewarded her with the partnership of such international stars as Jose Manoel Carreno, Ethan Stiefel and Vladimir Malakhov. She took part in the most prominent tours with the Mariinsky Theatre. On numerous occasions, she danced on the stages of The Bolshoi Theatre, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera , the Kennedy Center in Washington, Theatre du Chatelet in Paris and the opera theatre in Graz, Austria.
Svetlana’s international career began in 1999-2000. She performed the role of Medora in Le Corsaire in 1999 at Teatro Colon, staged by Makhar Vaziev. In 2000, she danced in The Nutcracker staged by Balanchine with the New-York City Ballet. In 2001, she performed in L’Histoire de Manon with the Bayerisches Staatsballett Ballet Company, partnered by Igor Zelensky. In 2002, Zakharova, partnered by Carreno, she performed in a gala concert of international ballet stars that took place at Palace des Arts in Montreal. She also participated in a gala dedicated to Rudolf Nureyev at Teatro alla Scala partnered by Nikolai Tsiskaridze.
As a guest star, Svetlana Zakharova successfully mastered new variations of well known classical ballets. She danced four versions of Swan Lake, the title role in Sleeping Beauty and as Nikia in La Bayadere staged by Nureyev at Opera de Paris. In 2003.
During the 2003-2004 season, Svetlana joined the company of the Bolshoi Theatre, where she was trained by distinguished ballerina Lyudmila Semenyaka, who represents the Petersburg ballet school.
The rest of this contemporary ballerina’s accomplishments are to numerous to mention. At her young age of currently 33. She is the most accomplished ballerina of this era. View her video on the links page.