Achieving the revered ranking of a ‘prima’ is a milestone for any ballerina. And having this title at 18 is such a way to impress the professional ballet world.
Svetlana Zakharova has made a name for herself as one of the most celebrated dancers in Russia today.
Her story is about dedication and hard work paying off, from her passion blossoming at 10 to rising to international recognition.
Table of Contents
- Who Is Svetlana Zakharova?
- Svetlana Zakharova’s Early Life and Education
- Svetlana Zakharova’s Dancing Career
- Svetlana Zakharova’s Awards
- Svetlana Zakharova’s retirement
- Final Words
Who Is Svetlana Zakharova?
Svetlana Zakharova (Светлана Юрьевна Захарова in Russian, Світлана Юріївна Захарова in Ukrainian) was born on 10 June 1979. She is a principal dancer in the Bolshoi Theater, La Scala, and Grand Opera.
Her exemplary performances have earned her the highest honor in Russia – the People’s Artist of the Russian Federation.
In April 2008, La Scala in Milan paid her the ultimate compliment – declaring her a star of international renown.
“If you know ballet, you know the name ‘Svetlana Zakharova.’ She’s ballet royalty,” claimed the DanceSpirit.
This Russian-Ukraine dancer is renowned for her natural talent, technical excellence, and emotionally charged performances that have captivated audiences for decades.
Svetlana Zakharova’s Family
Svetlana Zakharova was born in Lutsk, Ukraine. Her parents, Halyna and Yuri Zakharov, have been supportive and encouraged her to pursue her dreams.
Svetlana Zakharova’s husband is Vadim Repin – a renowned Russian violinist. They got married in 2016.
Svetlana Zakharova’s daughter is Sofia, born in 2010.
Svetlana Zakharova’s Height & Weight
Svetlana Zakharova boasts a stunning figure that is sure to turn heads. She is 5 feet and 7 inches tall with a svelte physique featuring measurements of 33-24-33 inches.
She has a slim frame with a weight of 116 pounds. She has got blonde hair and captivating blue eyes. Her petite, well-proportioned figure and unique features make her stand out in the ballet industry.
Svetlana Zakharova’s Net Worth
Svetlana Zakharova has an estimated net worth of $5 million. She has achieved such success through her remarkable talent and hard work in the entertainment industry.
Over the years, she has secured lucrative contracts and performances to accumulate wealth.
Svetlana Zakharova’s Early Life and Education
Her passion for dance and ballet was evident early.
The young talented dancer started her professional training at 10, with a program at the Kyiv Choreography School. Here, she spent 6 years of training under Valeria Sulegina.
During this time, Svetlana participated in the prestigious international youth ballet competition Vaganova Prix in Saint Petersburg. She was the youngest competitor and took home second prize.
Impressed by her performance, the Vaganova Ballet Academy invited her to jump into the graduating class. It was her most remarkable feat ever.
Svetlana soon became a star of Russian ballet when she performed a solo part in Don Quixote at the Mariinsky Theatre, only 6 months after graduating from the Vaganova Ballet Academy.
She joined the reputable ballet company of the Mariinsky Theater when she was 17.
Svetlana Zakharova’s Dancing Career
A Blooming Start With Mariinsky’s Ballet
Svetlana Zakharova’s journey to professional dance started with Mariinsky theater.
After early years filled with tears of training, upon her graduation in 1996, she was immediately accepted into the prestigious Mariinsky Theater dance company.
Under the guidance of the People’s Artist of Russia, Olga Moiseeva, she debuted as Maria in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai.
Subsequently, she portrayed Gulnara in Le Corsaire and danced the 7th Waltz and Mazurka in Chopiniana.
Her role as Giselle launched her career to unprecedented heights. Audiences and ballet critics praised and commended her effortlessly graceful performance.
At 18, Svetlana was already a ‘prima’ dancer, a celebrated achievement for a ballet dancer.
A Move To Conquer The Capital’s Stage
Making a bold decision to conquer the stage of Moscow’s legendary Bolshoi Theatre, Svetlana Zakharova fearlessly moved on with her career.
Her success at Mariinsky earned her Vladimir Vasiliev’s attention. He invited her to join this world-famous ballet dance in the capital.
Despite the jealousy of some of her fellow dancers, she became one of the theater’s top performers.
With guidance from esteemed Russian ballet dancer and the People’s Artist of Russia, Ludmila Semeniaka, Svetlana made her debut in La Fille du Pharaon, choreographed by Pierre Lacotte.
Her outstanding performance was later released as a DVD.
Her Bolshoi career continued to blossom. The former Mariinsky principal ballerina mastered every piece of the theater’s classical repertoire.
She also featured in productions created by the world-renowned choreographer Yuri Grigorovich.
A Rise To International Star
The incredible dance talents of Svetlana Zakharova have culminated in her becoming an internationally renowned ballet dancer.
Her fame soon spread beyond Russia to countries around the world, leading her to perform in places such as:
- The iconic Metropolitan Opera of New York;
- The Covent Garden in London;
- Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich;
- Teatro di San Carlo Napoli;
- The Vienna Opera;
- The National Theater Tokyo.
Her remarkable performances even resulted in her being awarded the status of étoile by La Scala, never before achieved by any Russian ballerina.
Her notable works include Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Bayadère, and Don Quixote, as well as premieres by George Balanchine.
Her role in John Neumeier’s widely acclaimed piece Now and Then showcased her incredible versatility and ability to master different dance styles.
Svetlana Zakharova was destined for greatness for her skills and determination. Her global success is undeniable.
Svetlana Zakharova’s Awards
Svetlana Zakharova has been a prominent figure in Russian culture for many years. She became a Presidential Council for Culture and Art member in 2006.
Her remarkable work earned her the State Prize of the Russian Federation in 2007, recognizing her talent in embodying characters on stage and continuing the great traditions of Russian Ballet.
In 2008, she was elected a State Duma Deputy and served one term in the Russian parliament from 2008 to 2012.
This Russian-Ukraine dancer was honored to perform at the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014. Her performance in Natasha Rostova’s first ball left a lasting impression on many.
Throughout her career, Svetlana has been an award-winning dancer. She has earned the following accolades:
- Prize winner at the International Competition of Young Ballet Dancers The Vaganova Prix (1996);
- Special prize Our Hope from Baltika Brewery in St. Petersburg (1997);
- The highest theater award of St. Petersburg Golden Soffit (1998);
- The Golden Mask Awards (1999 and 2000);
- The Best Dance of the Year from Italian Danza magazine (2000);
- The People of Our City award in Saint Petersburg (2001); the Meritorious Artist of Russia award (2005);
- The Benois de la Danse Award (2005);
- The State Prize of the Russian Federation (2007);
- The People’s Artist of Russia (2008);
- La Scala Ballet Étoile (2008);
- Officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters (2010);
- Benois de la Danse Award winner twice (2015).
Svetlana Zakharova’s retirement
When discussing her retirement plan, Svetlana said, “Only God knows when I will be able to dance on the stage. It is hard to predict. All I can do is think of every day as another start.”
The Bolshoi Theatre’s regulations state that dancers can retire after a 20-year career.
Yet, this rule does not apply to etoiles like Svetlana Zakharova. She can continue her career by signing fixed-term contracts with the theater.
Svetlana Zakharova is a celebrated ballerina known for her skill and agility in executing the grace and finesse of Russian ballet.
Her performances have captivated dance critics worldwide, garnering her comparisons to distinguished ballerinas of the early 20th century.
As a versatile dancer, she has expanded her repertoire to include modern pieces and programs, pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
With her fearless experimentation with modern technical capabilities, she continues to wow audiences in Russia and beyond.