Svetlana Lunkina was born in Moscow, Russia and trained at the Moscow Choreographic Academy. She joined the Bolshoi Ballet in 1997 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2005. In 2013, she joined The National Ballet of Canada as a Principal Guest Artist and became a Principal Dancer with the company in 2014.
Her repertoire with the National Ballet includes principal roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Giselle, La Sylphide, Manon, The Winter’s Tale, Nijnsky, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Le Petit Prince, Onegin, The Four Temperaments, Chroma, Genus and A Streetcar Named Desire.
Over her 15 year career at the Bolshoi Ballet, she danced many leading roles in both classical and contemporary ballets. Her repertoire includes principal roles in Swan Lake, La Bayadère, Raymonda, Spartacus, Don Quixote... She also danced featured roles in Serenade, Jewels, Afternoon of a Faun and Chroma. In 2002, Alexander Grant set the role of Lise in La Fille mal gardée on her. She has also worked extensively with Roland Petit, who set the roles of Lisa in La dame de Pique and Esmeralda in Notre Dame de Paris on her and updated his ballet La Rose Malade especially for her.
She is in demand as a guest artist at ballet companies around the world including the Berlin State Opera, Vienna State Opera, Teatro dell Opera in Rome, Paris Opéra Ballet, Kirov Ballet, Bavarian State Ballet, Bucharest National Ballet, Polish National Opera and the National Ballet of Japan.
She appeared in the film St. Petersburg-Cannes Express by the American Director John Daly in 2003. Her many awards include the Triumph youth award in 2001, Prix Benois de la Danse in 2007, Brilliance of the 21st Century in 2018 and Ballerina of the Decade in 2010.