Svetlana Lunkina
Leading soloist of the Bolshoi Ballet

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Svetlana Alexandrovna Lunkina was born in Moscow in 1979. In 1997 she graduated from the Moscow Choreographic Academy (class of Marina Leonova) and was accepted into the Bolshoi Company. Her teacher at the Bolshoi is Ekaterina Maximova.

On December 27, 1997, during her first season with the company, Lunkina danced the title role in 'Giselle' at the premiere of Vladimir Vasiliev's version of the ballet. Her partner was Nikolay Tsiskaridze. (They were the second cast; the first cast was Ananiashvili and Filin)

In February 1998, during an exchange tour with the Mariinsky Ballet, Lunkina danced Giselle in St. Petersburg. The performance took place on Ekaterina Maximova's birthday, February 1.

During the 1997-1998 season, Lunkina was nominated for a 'Golden Mask' award for her performance Giselle. However, the award went to Svetlana Zakharova from the Mariinsky.

On May 23, 1998, Lunkina debuted in her second major part. She danced the title role in Vasiliev's 'Anyuta'. Her partners were A. Barsegyan (Student), A. Melan'in (Petr Leontievich), I. Rizhakov (Artinov), and A. Petukhov (Modest Alekseevich).

On May 25, 1998, the Bolshoi gave a performance for the members of 47th General Assembly and Congress of the International Press Institute. Lunkina took part in a ballet divertissement. (M. Lavrovsky's 'Paganini" was also shown at that performance)

In the Fall of 1998, Lunkina performed at a charity gala - 'Ballet Stars-gift to Hospice'. The event was organized at the Bolshoi by the Maris Liepa Foundation. Svetlana Lunkina and Konstantin Ivanov performed a pas de deux from 'Sleeping Beauty'.

In November 1998, Svetlana Lunkina took part in an international festival honoring the 50th anniversary of the National Ballet of Cuba.

A group of Bolshoi dancers, Lunkina among them, toured China from December 23rd to 25th, 1998.

During the 1998-99 season, the Bolshoi staged Pugni's 'Pas de Quatre'. It was danced by Inna Petrova, Anna Antonicheva, Maria Allash, and Svetlana Lunkina. The ballet did not remain in the company repertoire.

At the start of 1999, the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall presented an evening dedicated to the memory of Ulanova, 'Remembering Ulanova'. Lunkina danced in a pas de deux from 'Giselle'.

On February 1, 1999, during a concert dedicated to Maximova's Jubilee, Lunkina performed an adagio from 'The Nutcracker' and from 'Anyuta'.

On February 3, 1999, The Bolshoi presented 100th performance of 'Anyuta', dedicated to the memory of V. Gavrilin, the ballet's composer. Lunkina performed the title role.

On May 5, 1999, The Bolshoi presented its 1000th performance of 'Giselle'. The performance was dedicated to Aleksander Bogatirev. Lunkina and K. Ivanov danced the principal parts.

At the end of 1998-99 season, after a company Concours, Lunkina was made a soloist (a differentiation among first and second soloist did not exist yet at the company).

In the summer of 1999, Lunkina took part in the Bolshoi's tour to London. The company performed at the Coliseum Theater. Lunkina danced 'Giselle', now solidly in her repertoire, and on her 20th birthday, debuted as Kitri in 'Don Quixote' with Sergei Filin as Basilio.

Later that summer, during the Valeriy Gavrilin festival at The Mussorgsky Theater in St. Petersburg, the Bolshoi presented Vasiliev's 'Anyuta' (mus. by Gavrilin) in which Lunkina performed the title role. She was partnered by Vladimir Vasiliev (Petr Leontievich) in his first performance of the part after a five year hiatus, Alexander Petukhov (Modest Alekseevich), Aleksey Popovchenko (Artynov), and Dmitriy Rykhlov (The Student)

In October 1999, the Bolshoi Ballet went on a tour of Japan, dancing in Tokyo and nine other cities. The ballets presented by the company were Giselle, Don Quixote, as well as a mixed concert program. Lunkina took part in the tour.

On November 25, 26 and 27, 1999, the Bolshoi performed in Hong Kong for the first time. Lunkina danced Kitri in 'Don Quixote' during that tour.

On December 12, 1999 Lunkina made her debut in Balanchine's 'Symphony in C' (first movement). Her partner was Sergey Filin.

In January of 2000, a group of Bolshoi soloists toured Bermuda Islands. Lunkina took part in that tour.

On February 16, 2000 Lunkina made her Moscow debut as Kitri in 'Don Quixote'.

In April of 2000, Svetlana Lunkina danced in the Bolshoi premiere of Jerome Robbins' 'Afternoon of a Faun' with Dmitriy Belogolovtsev.

That April, Lunkina performed Vasiliev's 'Sentimental Waltz' at a gala honoring the choreogrpher.

In May of 2000, the Bolshoi premiered 'La Fille du Pharaon' ('The Pharaoh's Daughter') which was choreographed for the Company by Pierre Lacotte. Lunkina danced the part of Aspiccia in the third cast of the premiere. Her partner was Dmitriy Belogolovtsev.

In the summer of 2000, the Bolshoi went on a five week tour of the United States. They danced in Washington D.C., Chicago, L.A., Seattle, Orange County, and New York. Lunkina danced Giselle (with Nikolay Tsiskaridze) and Symphony in C on this tour.

Тhat same summer a group of Bolshoi dancers also toured Spain, where Lunkina made her debut as Aurora in 'Sleeping Beauty'.

In October, 2000, The Bolshoi Ballet went on a three-week tour of South Africa, dancing 'Giselle' and a divertissement in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein, and Pretoria. Lunkina took part in the tour.

On November 15, 2000, Lunkina made her Moscow debut as Aurora in 'Sleeping Beauty'. Nikolay Tsiskaridze danced Prince Desire.

On January 6, 2001 Svetlana Lunkina and Nikolay Tsiskaridze danced in a performance of 'Giselle' which was dedicated to the 75th Birthday of Yuriy Zhdanov.

In 2001, The Bolshoi celebrated its 225th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion a number of theater personnel were honored by various governmental awards. On March 19, 2001, Lunkina was awarded an Honorary Diploma of the Moscow Government.

In March of 2001, Yuriy Grigorovich mounted a new version of his 'Swan Lake' at the Bolshoi. Lunkina danced the Russian Bride.

In the spring of 2001, during the Bolshoi's visit to London, Lunkina danced "The Dying Swan", "Les Sylphides", and a pas de deux from "Giselle" and "La Sylphide". The performances took place at the Drury Lane Theater.

On September 21 and 23 of 2001, Lunkina danced 'Giselle' with Vladimir Malakhov, principal dancer of ABT, Vienna State Opera and Stuttgart Ballet, when he was invited to appear as a guest artist with the Bolshoi.

In November 2001, the Bolshoi acquired an evening of Roland Petit's ballets --Passacaille, premiered earlier by the Paris Opera Ballet, and 'Pique Dame' created especially for the Bolshoi. Lunkina took on the soloist role in the former ballet (partnered by Yan Godovsky), and danced Lise in the latter (the role of Germann was performed by N. Tsiskaridze and the Countess was danced by Ilze Liepa). The premiere was shown live on the Central Russian Television.

In December of that year, the Bolshoi went on a tour of Italy where Lunkina danced Aurora in 'Sleeping Beauty'.

Lunkina received the 'Triumph' award for 2001. The ceremony took place on January 28, 2002 at the Moscow's Maly Theater.

In January 2002, the Bolshoi staged Frederick Ashton's 'La Fille Mal Gardee', and Lunkina was scheduled to dance the premiere. However, her Colas (Sergey Filin) was severely injured on the day of the premiere, and another cast had to go on in their place. Lunkina and Filin danced only the dress rehearsal on January 28.

On February 11, 2002, Svetlana Lunkina and Dmitriy Gudanov took part in the 'Stars of the 21st Century' Gala in New York. They danced a pas de deux from 'La Sylphide' and 'Le Spectre de la Rose'.

On April 25, 2002, Lunkina made her debut in the title role of 'La Sylphide'. Her James was Sergey Filin.

At the end of April 2002, Lunkina and Gudanov danced in the 'Stars of the 21st Century' Gala in Toronto. They performed a pas de deux from 'La Sylphide' and the Black Swan pas de deux from 'Swan Lake'.

On June 4, 2002, Lunkina and N. Tsiskaridze danced 'Giselle'. The prime minister of Bulgaria was at that performance.

From January to June of 2002, Chelyabinsk Theater of Opera and Ballet held a 'Ballet Festival in Honor of Ekaterina Maximova'. Maximova's pupils, including Lunkina, took part in the Festival.

In the summer of 2002, Svetlana Lunkina and Sergey Filin went to Japan with Vladimir Malakhov's touring group "Malakhov and Friends", and danced the pas de deux from 'La Fille du Pharaon'.

During that summer Lunkina took part in the filming of John Daily's 'Saint Petesburg-Cannes Express.' The world premiere took place in March 2003 in Palm Springs.

The Bolshoi Ballet and Orchestra toured Japan from the 21st of September to the 10th of October, 2002. "Sleeping Beauty" and "Spartacus" were shown in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya, and other cities. Lunkina and Tsizkaridze opened the tour in a matinee performance of "Sleeping Beauty".

On February 2, 2003, Lunkina made her debut as Odette-Odile in "Swan Lake". Her partner was Konstantin Ivanov.

On February 5, 2003, a presentation of the Russian affiliate of Trans Continental Talent, a talent-scouting agency, took place at the Film Center on Krasnaya Presna. The director of the recent film "Saint Petersburg-Cannes Express", John Daily, is one of the founders of the company. The actors engaged in the movie, including Svetlana Lunkina, took part in the presentation and the press conference.

On February 15, 2003, the Bolshoi mounted Roland Petit's "Notre Dame de Paris" for the first time. The first performance was danced by Svetlana Lunkina (Esmeralda), Nikolay Tsizkaridze (Quasimodo), Alexander Volchkov (Phoebus), and Yan Godovsky (Frollo). The performance was shown live on the "Kultura" channel.

In March of 2003, under the auspices of the "Golden Mask" Festival, the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky took part in an exchange tour. Petit's "Passacaille" and "Pique Dame" were shown at the Mariinsky Theater on March 11 and 12. Lunkina danced in both ballets.

On March 18 and 20, 2003, Svetlana Lunkina and Andrey Uvarov danced "Swan Lake" with the Ballet Company of the National Theater of Belgrade (Narodno pozoriste u Beogradu) in Belgrade (Slovenia).

In May of 2003, the Bolshoi went on a brief tour of Germany. The program consisted of "Les Sylphides" and a divertissement. Lunkina took part in that tour.

On May 20, 2003, Dmitriy Gudanov made his debut as Claude Frollo in "Notre Dame de Paris". His partners were Svetlana Lunkina (Esmeralda), Nikolay Tsizkaridze (Quasimodo), and Vladimir Neporozhniy (Phoebus). This was Lunkina's last performance before her maternity leave.

In the winter of 2003-2004 Lunkina gave birth to a son. The next season she returned to the stage. Her first performance, on October 6, 2004, was in the title role of 'Giselle' in Grigorovich's version of the ballet. She was partnered by Vladimir Neporozhniy.

On October 13, 2004, Lunkina resumed her roles in the Roland Petit bill, dancing the leading part in 'Passacaglia', partnered by Andrey Bolotin who was making his debut in the ballet, as well as Liza in 'Pique Dame' with Nikolay Tsiskaridze, who was returning to the role of Hermann for the fist time since sustaining a serious knee injury in the fall of 2003.


2001 -An Honorary diploma of the Moscow Government.
2001 - Youth award "Triumph".


"Giselle" (Perrot, Coralli, Vasiliev), Giselle (1997).
"Sleeping Beauty" (Petipa, Grigorovich), Fairy of Tenderness (Candid).
"La Bayadere" (Petipa, Chabukiani, Grigorovich), Grand Pas.
"Don Quixote" (Petipa, Gorsky, Grigorovich), Juanita (1998).
"Anyuta" (Vasiliev), Anyuta (1998).
"Pas de Quatre" (Dolin), soloist.
"Don Quixote" (Petipa, Gorsky, Fadeechev), Kitri (1999).
"Sleeping Beauty" (Petipa, Grigorovich), Aurora (2000).
"Symphony in C" (Balanchine), First Movement (1999).
"Le Spectre de la rose" (Fokin), The Girl.
"Afternoon of a Faun" (Robbins), soloist (2000).
"La Fille du Pharaon " (Lacotte), Aspiccia (2000).
"Les Sylphides" (Fokin), Prelude, Seventh Waltz.
"Sentimental Waltz" (Vasiliev).
"The Dying Swan" (Fokin).
"Swan Lake" (Petipa, Ivanov, Grigorovich), Russian Bride (2001).
"Passacaille" (Petit), principal (2001).
"Pique Dame" (Petit), Lisa (2001).
"La Sylphide" (Bournonville, Von Rozen), Sylphide (2002).
"Swan Lake" (Petipa, Ivanov, Grigorovich), Odette-Odile (2003).
'Notre Dame de Paris' (Petit), Esmeralda (2003).

Ludmila Dukova
English translation by Anna Korisch

A biography and additional information on Svetlana Lunkina can be found on FOR BALLET LOVERS ONLY

Last update - 15.12.2004
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