Yana Zelensky graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg and joined the Mariinsky Theatre in 1997. She rose rapidly through the ranks and performed most of the leading roles of the company. At the Mariinsky Theatre she worked with many influential choreographers, including John Neumeier, William Forsythe, Pierre Lacotte, Alexei Ratmansky, David Dawson and Giuliano Peparini.
In 2008 she left St. Petersburg to take up the post of ballet master and assistant to the ballet director Igor Zelensky with the Ballet of the Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. Throughout this time she covered a vast amount of the classical ballet repertoire with the corps de ballet and the principal dancers of the company. She was also actively involved as an assistant in new productions such as Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Who cares? (together with choreographers of the George Balanchine Foundation), Immortal Beloved (Edwaard Liang), Carmen (Luigi Bonino). She also discovered her passion for choreography and acted as choreographer in the Grand Pas of the ballet Paquita (Marius Petipa).
In 2011 she joined the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre in Moscow, where she continued to work as a ballet master. During that time she worked with the corps de ballet and principal dancers and together with them studied productions of famous choreographers like Pierre Lacotte (La Sylphide), Natalia Macarova (La Bayadère), Luigi Bonini (Coppélia di Roland Petit), Kenneth MacMillan (Mayerling and Manon).
Since 2016 she has been a ballet master at the Bayerisches Staatsballett, where she coaches the principals, soloists and corps de ballet. She has worked on most of the classical productions in the repertoire like Giselle, La Bayadère, Spartacus and Alice in Wonderland. Especially in the rehearsal and work process, the personal contact and collaboration with world leading choreographers like Patrice Bart, Peter Wright, Yuri Grigorovich and Christopher Wheeldon gives her enthusiasm in teaching the dancers the roles and keeping the tradition of the performances for the Bavarian State Ballet. Recently she also worked with the assistants of John Cranko in the productions Taming of the Shrew and Romeo and Julia.
(Information as of January 2018)