Benois de la Danse laureate

She was born in Moscow in 1979 and trained at the Moscow Choreographic Academy with Natalia Savina and Marina Leonova.

Upon graduation in 1997 she joined the Bolshoi Ballet, where she was taken under the wings of none else than the great Ekaterina Maximova. With Maximova she started to prepare the role of Giselle after she had been chosen by then Bolshoi director Vladimir Vasiliev to dance the title role in his new production of the ballet Giselle partnered with Nikolay Tsiskaridze. Just 18, Lunkina thus became the youngest Giselle in the history of the company. Her critically acclaimed performance of Giselle not only highlighted the dancer's lyrical qualities, but also showed her as a fine actress. With her performance of Giselle, Lunkina was nominated for a Golden Mask award. It was also her first role when she returned from maternity leave in October 2004. Her repertoire includes: title roles in Giselle (Perrot, Coralli, Vasiliev), LaSylphide (Bournonville,Von Rozen), Anyuta (Vasiliev); and also Fairy of Tenderness and Aurora in Sleeping Seaufy (Petipa, Grigorovich), Juanita in Don Quixote (Petipa, Gorsky, Grigorovich) and Kitri in Don Quixote (Petipa, Gorsky, Fadeechev), Aspiccia in La Fille du Pharaon (Lacotte), Russian Bride and Odette-Odile in Swan Lake (Petipa, Ivanov, Grigorovich), Use in La Fille Mai Gardee (Ashton), Masha in The Nutcracker, Phzygia in Spartacus (both — Grigrovich), Esmeralda in Notre Dame de Paris, Passacaille, Lisa in Pique Dame (all — Petit), Le Spectre de la rose,The Dying Swan, Prelude, Seventh Waltz in LesSylphides (all — Fokin), First and Second Movements in Symphony in С (Balanchine), Zina in The Bright Stream, Jeu de Cartes (both — Ratmansky), Glove Seller in Gaite Parisienne, Passion in Les Presages (both — Massine), soloist in Pas de Quatre (Dolin), Afternoon of a Faun (Robbins), Sentimental Waltz (Vasiliev).

Upcoming new premiers: Ophelia in Hamlet (Christopher Wheeldon), Serenade (Balanchine), Nikiya in La Bayadere (Petipa, Grigorovich). She took part in International Ballet Galas:Tribute to Galina Ulanova (1998, Paris), Malakhov and Friends (2002, Japan), Stars of the 21 st Century (2002-2006, New York, Paris, Toronto), Roland Petit and his Stars (2006, Greece), Tribute to Yuri Grigorovich (2007, London, Royal Opera House). As International Guest Star she appeared in Berlin State Opera (2003), Canadian Ballet Theatre (2004-2005), Mariinsky Ballet (2005), Rome Opera Theater Ballet (2005-2006), Vienna State Opera House (2006). Her Awards: Honorary Diploma from the Moscow Government (2001), Youth award Triumph (2001), Star of 21 st Century (New York, 2005), Brilliance of the 21 st Century (New York, 2006).