Svetlana Lunkina

Principal Dancer

Svetlana Lunkina View Gallery

Quick Facts

Born: Moscow, Russia
Trained: Moscow Choreographic Academy in Russia
The Bolshoi Ballet: 1997 - 2013
Joined as a Principal Dancer: 2014

Svetlana Lunkina is sponsored through Dancers First by Anna McCowan-Johnson and Donald K. Johnson, O.C. 


Five Things to Know

  1. 1Svetlana has performed principal roles in a wide range of classical and contemporary ballets with The Bolshoi Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and internationally. Among them are Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Onegin, Manon, La Sylphide, Anna Karenina, The Four Temperaments, Chroma and Petite Mort.
  2. 2At just 18 years old, Svetlana was the youngest dancer in the history of The Bolshoi Ballet to perform the title role of Giselle. To date, Svetlana has appeared in five different versions of Giselle worldwide.
  3. 3Svetlana worked extensively with influential choreographer Roland Petit, dancing the lead roles of Liza in La Dame de Pique and Esmeralda in Notre-Dame de Paris in their Bolshoi premieres. In 2008, Petit updated his ballet La Rose Malade especially for her.
  4. 4In demand as an international guest artist, Svetlana often performs in galas, festivals and with top companies such as the Vienna State Ballet, Kirov Ballet, Paris Opéra Ballet and the National Ballet of Japan.
  5. 5American artist Anna Gaskell photographed Svetlana for her 2013 exhibition, SVETA, in Paris and Cologne. Svetlana is also the subject of Gaskell’s short film, & Juliet, in which she rehearses the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet without a partner.


Favourite Ballets

  1. 1Giselle
  2. 2Anna Karenina
  3. 3Chroma
  4. 4Spartacus (Aram Khachaturian)
  5. 5Anyuta (Vladimir Vasiliev)






The Winter’s Tale
“Paulina… has winglike arm gestures; the part was played on Wednesday by Svetlana Lunkina (formerly of the Bolshoi Ballet), who tellingly showed how Paulina’s grief expresses itself in the splayed fingers and turning wrists at the end of those spread arms.”
– The New York Times

“Svetlana Lunkina projected such touching innocence and vulnerability… Lunkina achieved the transformation to an ethereal creature splendidly with adagio dancing of poetic loveliness.”
– Toronto Star

“Sheer dramatic intensity of Svetlana Lunkina’s debut as Tatiana… To say it was electric rather understates the case.”
– Dance International


Ballerina of the Decade (2010)

Brilliance of the 21st Century Medal (2008)

Meritorious Artist of Russia (2008)

Prix Benois de la Danse (2007)

Triumph Youth Award (2001)

Other Projects

Artistic Director of the International Canada All Star Ballet Gala

Artistic Director of the Canada Ballet Art Project

Creator of the AI powered ballet training app, 1on1 Ballet Studio Master Classes