There's a wonderful interview of Mariinsky Swan Ulyana Lopatkina in ballet.comagazine this month:
Included is a beautiful, large photo of her Odile, and one of her with her three year old daughter. I've read that she's Russia's Assoluta, but have never seen her when the Kirov/Mariinsky has visited New York. Are there any eyewitnesses to her Odette/Odile who can describe what it is about her that is so special?
I found her Act I Odette extraordinary in technical control and plastique with few of
the eccentricities of line that I was expecting. I did however find an absence of the kind of emotional yearning as Odette, that I grew up with watching Beriosova, or the unforgettable memory images of the plastique of Osipenko. For me her Odile lacked characterisation and her technique though strong, was not impeccable in the tour de force expected in this act. Lopatkina is certainly one of the tallest dancers to essay ballerina roles I have ever seen and she is expert in disguising this through the general fluidity of movement. Historically speaking only Legnani and Kschessinskaya in Russia Have been given the accolade of Prima Ballerina Assoluta though some writers have said that Plisetskaya inherited this mantle from Ulanova. Fonteyn was the Assoluta of the Royal Ballet and perhaps Dudinskaya, Kopakova and Alonso would seem natural candidates for this title. It is of course a subject that could run and run on any website, if posters do not separate personal prejudice, for proper understanding of the status of the title.