Born in Lutsk, in the Ukraine. In 1989, she entered Kiev Choreographic School. In Kiev, she trained with Valery Sulegina. Having finished six years at the Kiev School, Zakharova took part in a young dancers’ competition Vaganova-Prix in St. Petersburg. Her phenomenal physique (extraordinary flexibility, big step, stability, stable rotation) were noted at once. She won second prize and received an invitation to join the graduating course at Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. In 1996, Zakharova graduated from the Vaganova Academy, ennobling the first graduation by Yelena Yevteyeva, former distinguished ballerina of the Mariynsky Theatre. That same year she was accepted in the theatre’s company and in the following season was promoted to principal dancer. Famous ballerina and teacher Olga Moiseeva became her permanent teacher and mentor.
Throughout her time at the Mariynsky Theatre, Zakharova gained a vast repertoire:
Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux
The Dying Swan
Maria (The Fountain of Bakhchisarai. Music by Boris Astafiev. Choreography by Rostislav Zakharov)
Masha (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 Mariu§гe 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)
One of her permanent partners was Igor Zelensky — the principal of the Mariynsky Theatre and an international star.
In 2001-2003 Svetlana Zakharova was a permanent participant to the International Ballet Festival „Mariynsky”, 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 Mariynsky Theatre. On numerous occasions, she danced on the stages of The Bolshoi Theatre (exchange tours), Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera , the Kennedy Center in Washington (2002), Theatre du Chatelet (2002) in Paris and the opera theatre in Graz (Austria).
Svetlana Zakharova’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 (on both occasions she was partnered by Igor Zelensky). In 2002, Zakharova (partnered by Carreno) 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 — by Natalia Makarova in Rio de Janeiro (2001), by Rudolf Nureyev at Opera de Paris (2002), by Derek Deane with the English National Ballet at the Royal Albert Hall in London (2002, partner — Sergei Filin), and by Galina Samsova at the Rome Opera (2003). In 2002, she danced the title role in The Sleeping Beauty (version by Paul Chalmer) at the Rome Opera, and Nikia in La Bayadere staged by Nureyev at Opera de Paris. In 2003, she performed in La Bayadere (choreography by Asami) with the New National Theatre Ballet in Tokyo, with which, the year prior, she danced Odette-Odile in Swan Lake staged by Konstantin Sergeyev. In 2004, Zakharova was a guest star with Teatro San Carlo in Naples, where she had a debut in La Bayadere (production by Derek Deane).
During the 2003-2004 season, Svetlana Zakharova joined the company of the Bolshoi Theatre, where she was trained by distinguished ballerina Lyudmila Semenyaka, who represents the Petersburg ballet school. Her first performance there was Giselle by Vladimir Vasiliev (before her move to Moscow, she danced this ballet three times in the Bolshoi Theatre). In 2003, the French Bel Air Company filmed Cesare Pugni’s La Fille du Pharaon in the Bolshoi Theatre (production by Pierre Lacotte after Marius Petipa) for the ballet’s subsequent release on DVD. This was Svetlana Zakharova’s first performance as Aspicia.
Svetlana Zakharova has been acknowledged for her skills. She is the recipient of awards such as a prize from the Vaganova-Prix competition, the „Our Hope” prize from „Baltica” Brewery (1997), and the special St. Petersburg prize „People of Our City” (2001). Twice she was awarded with the Golden Mask National theatre award for the best woman ballet role — in 1999 (Serenada by Georges Balanchine) and in 2000 (The Sleeping Beauty — version by Sergei Vikharev).
In 2005, she was awarded the title of Merited Artist of the Russian Federation.
Repertory for Bolshoi Theatre
Title role (Giselle. Vladimir Vasiliev production, then Yuri Grigorovich production)
Aspicia (La Fille du Pharaon )
Odette-Odile (Yuri Grigorovich production)
Princess Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty. Yuri Grigorovich production)
soloist Part 2 (Symphony in C)
Nikia (La Bayadere. Yuri Grigorovich production)
Kitri (Don Quixote. Alexei Fadeyechev production)
Hyppolita/Titania (A Midnight’s Summer Dream. John Neumeier production) — creation at Bolshoi Theatre
Title role (Raimonda. Yuri Grigorovich production)
Carmen (Carmen Suite. Alberto Alonso production)
Title role (Cinderella. Yuri Possokhov and Yuri Borisov creation)
Serenade (choreography by Georges Balanchine) — creation at Bolshoi Theatre
Medora (Le Corsaire. Production and new choreography by Alexei Ratmansky and Yuri Burlaka after Marius Petipa) — creation
Class Concert (to music by different composers; choreography by Asaf Messerer)
Aegina (Spartacus.Yuri Grigorovich production)
Couple in Yellow (Russian Seasons. Music by Leonid Desyatnikov, choreography by Alexei Ratmansky) — was among the creators of this ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre
Paquita (Paquita. Staging and new choreographic version by Yuri Burlaka)
Svetlana (Emiliano Palmieri’s Zakharova Super Game. Choreography by Francesco Ventriglia) — creation
In March 2004, she danced the title role in Giselle for the Opera National de Paris. The part of Albrecht was danced by Laurent Hilaire.
In April 2004, she made her Teatro di San Carlo (Naples) debut in the role of Nikia in La Bayadere (Derek Deane’s production). The role of Solor was danced by Roberto Bolle.
In May 2004, she appeared in La Bayadere (Natalia Makarova version) with ABT at Metropolitan Opera. Her partner was Jose Manuel Carreno.
In 2004, she danced the role of Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty (Konstantin Sergeyev version) at the New National Theatre, Tokyo. Her partner was Andrei Uvarov.
In November 2004, she danced Odette-Odile in Swan Lake (Vladimir Bourmeister version) at La Scala (partner — Roberto Bolle) and the title role in Raymonda at Tokyo’s New National Theatre (Asami Maki version, partner — Andrei Uvarov).
In December 2004, she danced Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty (Rudolph Nureyev version) at the Paris Opera. Partner — Jose Martinez.
In January 2005, she appeared as Nikia (La Bayadere — Natalia Makarova version) in Hamburg, with John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet. Partner — Irzhi Bubenichek.
In April 2005, she danced the title role in Giselle at La Scala. Partner — Massimo Murru.
In June 2005, she danced Kitri in Don Quixote (Alexei Fadeyechev version) at the New National Theatre, Tokyo. Partner — Andrei Uvarov.
In August 2005, also at this Theatre, she appeared in the ballet Le Jeune homme et la mort to music by Johann-Sebastian Bach (choreography Roland Petit). Partner — Igor Zelensky.
In December 2005, she danced Odette-Odile in Swan Lake (Rudolph Nureyev version) at the Paris Opera. Her partner at the first performance was Jean-Guillaume Bart, at the second — Nicolas Le Riche.
In January 2006, she danced Odette-Odile (Konstantin Sergeyev version) at the New National Theatre, Tokyo. Partner — Andrei Uvarov.
DVD: Bel air Media
La fille du pharaon
in the part of Aspicia
released in 2004
In 2005, for her performance as Hippolyta-Titania in John Neumeier’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she was awarded the Benois de la Danse International Dance Association prize; she was also awarded the title of Merited Artist of the Russian Federation.
In 2007, she was awarded the Ballet magazine Soul of Dance prize (Queen of Dance nomination) and the State Prize of Russia — for the talented interpretation of the roles and development of the great traditions of the Russin ballet.
In 2008, she was awarded the title of People’s Artist of the Russian Federation.
In the same year she was the first among Russian dancers to receive the title of La Scala Ballet etoile.