Born in Leningrad. Graduated from the Leningrad State Institute of Theatre Music and Cinematography in 1989 (Lev Dodin's class). Nikiforova was accepted into the Maly Drama Theatre Company in the same year. She plays Sasha in A Play Without a Title, Cousin Ermangarde in The Long Christmas Dinner, the Girl in A Small Restaurant, Katya in The Moscow Chorus written by Ludmila Petrushevskaya, Maria Josefa in The House of Bernarda Alba. Mrs Henderson in The Shadow of a Gunman. Maria Nikiforova has appeared in the films The House on the Sand and National Security Agent: The Stradivarius.