Svetlana Zakharova and Andre Merkuriev in 2006 Svetlana Zakharova (born ) is a principal dancer with both the Bolshoi Ballet and the Teatro alla Scala.
Zakharova was born in Lutsk, Ukraine, on . At age six, her mother took Svetlana 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 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 Rostislav Zakharov's The Fountain of Bakhchisarai. In 2003 2004, she accepted a long-standing open offer with the Bolshoi, reportedly due to discontent with the Mariinsky.
Today, Zakharova tours and guests with the world's great ballet companies. She is considered one of the greatest ballerinas of the generation. She is highly regarded for her technical expertise, for her exquisite footwork and for her exceptionally high extensions, as well as her great artistry. Zakharova was awarded the Prix Benois de la Danse in 2005 and the State Prize of the Russian Federation in 2006 
She is married to Russian violinist Vadim Repin. The couple have one child, a daughter Anna, who was born on . Zakharova had withdrawn from the Bolshoi Ballet tour to London in the summer of 2010 citing a hip injury; in fact she was pregnant at the time. Zakharova returned to dancing, and performed in London on , in a gala performance celebrating Galina Ulanova.
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