Ulyana Lopatkina Principal dancer with the Mariinsky Ballet
Ulyana was born on 23th of October 1973 in Kerch, Ukraine. She started ballet at a young age and when she was 11, she was accepted to the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg. She graduated from the class of Natalia Dudinskaya. She won the Vaganova-Prix competition in 1991. That same year, she joined Mariinsky Ballet. In 1995 Ulyana became a principal dancer of the Mariinsky Theatre. She has danced at the world's most famous theatres and received numerous awards such as the Golden Mask and the People's Artist of Russia. In 2010, she performed at the Olympics in Vancouver and was invited to perform Swan Lake at the Opera de Paris. In 2011 she participated in a Gala dedicated to Galina Ulanova and an International Gala in Italy. Due to her height, her large feet and how different she has always looked from other Mariinsky dancers, many people didn't like or believe in her at the start of her career. However, she was able to show her artistic talents and become a ballet legend in Russia and abroad. She gave birth to her daughter, Masha in 2002, during a period in which she had to refrain from dancing due to injury. She retired in 2017 due to professional injuries. However, she remains one of the icons of Russian ballet and is an inspiration to young dancers around the globe.
2000 - Honoured Artist of Russia 2006 - People's Artist of Russia 1997 - Golden Mask and Benois de la Dance 1998 - Prize of the London critics from the paper “Evening Standard” 1999 - State prize of Russia 1991 - Prize-winner at the Vaganova Prix Competition (St. Petersburg) 1995, 2015 - the Golden Sofit 2004 - Triumph 1997 - Divine (Best Ballerina) 1997 and 2001 - Baltika 1998 - "Artiste of Her Imperial Majesty, State of Sovereign Russia" 1998 - Mankind Creator Medal
Interviews (turn on English subtitles in video settings)
My favourite thing about Ulyana is how fragile she is, increasing her delicate style with every movement - her light presence on stage makes her stand out, and makes her seem airy, soft, and beautiful. She gives an illusion of floating when she dances, and becomes the perfect ballerina - technically strong, yet appearing fragile and delicate. Her arms are just perfect, moving like wings on the stage. When she dances Swan Lake, she simply becomes the swan. She is known all over the world as one of the ultimate Swan Queens. Her lines, her long legs and arms make her beautiful to watch and astound the audience. She has amazing artistry. She was able to work her way to the top of the ballet world despite the fact that many people did not believe in her talent during her first moments with the Theatre - this shows her deep determination and intrinsic strength.