|Daria Pavlenko was born in Moscow on November 19, 1978. Following the example
of her older sister, she went training at the Vaganova Academy
in then Leningrad. She completed the full eight-year course with
Olga Iskanderova and, for the last three years, with Yelena Yevteyeva.
Upon graduation in June 1996, Daria Pavlenko joined the Mariinsky
(Kirov) Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet.
Daria Pavlenko's career followed a more traditional path than is common in the
Mariinsky Ballet, where stars are now often made overnight. In
her case the daily corps de ballet work preceded the more prominent
assignments. In her second season at the Kirov she began to prepare
her first soloist roles, mainly under the guidance of Gabriella
Komleva, one of the most distinguished ballerinas of the previous
generation. In 1998 Pavlenko danced Maria in Zakharov's ballet
drama, The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, the Lilac Fairy in the old
Konstantin Sergeyev production of The Sleeping Beauty, and Gamzatti
Bayadère. At the end of that year she was also cast in Alexei
Ratmansky's challenging Middle Duet with Islom Baimuradov. In
April 1999 Pavlenko was selected to dance the 3rd Act of The
Sleeping Beauty in the Gala evening dedicated to her repetiteur
In her fourth season Daria Pavlenko, now a
soloist, made her debut as Odette-Odile in Swan Lake and danced
the second ballerina role in Rubies. During the large-scale Summer
engagement in London's Covent Garden in June 2000, she particularly
distinguished herself by accepting and learning the lead in Balanchine's
Diamonds in less than a day. By also learning Emeralds later
that year, Pavlenko became one of the very few ballerinas who
tackles with equal success the principal parts in all three sections
of Jewels, a rare feat that perfectly illustrates her versatility.
Pavlenko's range was even more revealed by
some remarkable debuts during her fifth and sixth seasons at
the Kirov. In August 2001 she danced her first Giselle, followed
by Grigorovich's The Legend of Love in November, the Siren in
Balanchine's Prodigal Son in December of that year, and Raymonda in January 2002.
During the second Mariinsky International
Ballet Festival in March 2002, she danced the Siren to Paris
Opera Ballet guest star Nicolas Le Riche's Prodigal Son.
In April 2002 Daria Pavlenko received a special
jury award at the Golden Mask Festival (Moscow) for her performance
as the Snow Queen in Simonov's Nutcracker and in June 2002 she
was awarded the Baltika Prize "Hope" (St. Petersburg). In September 2006 she received the Positano Award "Leonid Massine" (Italy).
In October 2003 Pavlenko was invited to guest
with the Royal Ballet at London's Covent Garden, dancing the
role of Nikiya in Natalia Makarova's production of La Bayadère.
Her partner was Roberto Bolle. In October 2006 she danced the
title role in Maki Asami's staging of Raymonda with the New National
Theatre Ballet in Tokyo.
Daria Pavlenko has been touring worldwide
with the Mariinsky Ballet. Among her dancing partners are Danila
Korsuntsev, Viktor Baranov, Igor Zelensky, Igor Kolb, Andrei
Merkuriev, Alexander Kurkov, and Leonid Sarafanov. Her partners
from outside the Mariinsky include Roberto Bolle (La Scala),
Nicolas Le Riche (POB), Ethan Stiefel (ABT), and Nikolai Tsiskaridze
(Bolshoi). In her fifth season at the Kirov she started working
again with her teacher from the Vaganova Academy, Yelena Yevteyeva.
In February 2004 Daria Pavlenko was promoted to principal dancer.
What the critics said about Daria Pavlenko (pdf file)
Text: Marc Haegeman