It seems so callous to invite an artist to join a company and then leave them on their own to sink or swim both professionally and personally.
I've heard of this happening at numerous companies, and I think it may partly be due to the lack of funds to set up proper support (and support staff). The attitude tends to be, "you've been given this great opportunity, now show us that you deserve it!". And the dancer/new employee ends up wondering just what was so great about this 'opportunity'. ;)
It's difficult to move to a new place, especially a new culture, and try to survive on your own. If you don't speak the language to begin with, it can be a nightmare.
And regarding Kaysta's statement:
As a non-dancer who doesn't know much about the politics of a company, I don't understand why an artistic director wouldn't give one of his principal dancers at least one shot at dancing a role like Giselle (especially considering Giselle is performed essentially every spring) to see if they could handle it.
Would this have anything to do with short program schedules, and the need to stick with certain favorite dancers (that is, the public's favorites) for those few dates? ABT does a lot of touring, so I would expect that to produce more opportunities, but perhaps Kevin McKenzie doesn't think that way. There does seem to be a bit of "rigidity" to the ABT approach.
I'm much more familiar with SFB, and it just hasn't been a problem there for principals to dance starring roles (perhaps more times than they care to). 2015 is actually the first year when there would seem to be more willing female principals and soloists at SFB than parts, but, they've been adding extra dates to the season, and if last year's tour is any indication, there will be lots of extra opportunities there. Where there is a will - and a chance for more money - there is a way.