Svetlana was born in Lutsk, Ukraine. She started ballet at age 7 and at age 10 she moved to Kiev and began her studies at the Kiev Choreographic School. Only at age 13-14 did she realise that she wanted to pursue ballet professionally, after noticing how much she loved it and how gifted she was. At the age of 15, she entered the Vaganova-Prix Competition for young dancers in St. Petersburg. She was the youngest dancer there and won second prize. Her extraordinary abilities were noted by many and she received an invitation to join the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg. She went straight to the graduating class, skipping a year of studies thanks to her skills and talent. In 1996, Svetlana graduated from the Academy and was invited to join the Mariinsky Theatre's ballet company. Just a year later, she was promoted to principal dancer. In 2003, she decided to leave the company and joined the Bolshoi Ballet as a prima ballerina. She continues to dance there today and is also an etoile with the La Scala theatre in Milan. She is married to violinist Vadim Repin and has a daughter, Anna.
(Courtesy of svetlana-zakharova.com website) 1996 – Prize winner at the International Competition of Young Ballet Dancers The Vaganova Prix 1997 – Special prize Our Hope from Baltika brewery in St. Petersburg 1998 – The highest theater award of St. Petersburg Golden Soffit 1999 and 2000 – The Golden Mask awards 2000 – Best Dance of the Year award by Italian Danza magazine 2001 – People of our City award, Saint Petersburg 2005 – The Meritorious Artist of Russia 2005 – Benois de la Danse award 2007 – The State Prize of the Russian Federation (for the talented interpretation of roles and development of the great traditions of the Russian ballet) 2007 – Soul of the Dance award by The Ballet magazine, Queen of the Dance nomination 2008 – The People’s Artist of Russia 2008 – La Scala Ballet Étoile 2010 – Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France 2015 – Twice a laureate of Benois de la Danse award
Interviews (turn on English subtitles in video settings)
When she dances, she expresses her sensitivity, drawing the line between sheer movements and artistry. She is able to charm the audience with her emotional maturity, making them feel everything that she is doing. She is able to tell a story perfectly through what she does with her body, creating not just poses but forms that the audience can use as artistic clues or traces. She makes everything that she does look effortless, hiding the toil and difficulty that lies beneath her perfection. She is beautiful and has the perfect ballet body - her lines, turnout and feet are truly a gift, and they make her even more beautiful to watch. She is referred to worldwide as the ideal dancer in terms of physicality. She has amazing stage presence - she can fill up the entire theatre and draw all eyes to herself. She can dance any role perfectly, portraying every character with depth and understanding. Her technique is impeccable, a testament to years of training and passion.