What struck me most about Bussell's career was that it was very media driven and that her time with the RB coincided with a big push to sell the company to the general public. If I remember rightly, pre-Bussell it was Bryony Brind a dancer with a lot more potential who was wheeled out for media attention, but there was far more attention focussed on Bussell than there ever was on Brind.
I absolutely agree.
To my mind the RB moved into the 21st century mode of the creative marketing of a celebrity product in the way that regrettably many distinguished performing artists have allowed themselves to be used in the scramble for wealth. I do not think this was Mis Bussell's aim as she often exhibited real joy in performance, but at the time it appeared to me to be a ROH strategy. If they didn't have a world class ballerina they would create one.
There is absolutely no doubt that Miss Bussell had technical abilities that set her apart and she had a winning way in certain ballets, but for me that inner aesthetic connection with the art form was never made in any of the classics.
In an interview with Ismene Brown published in December 2001. Clement Crisp doyen of English critics talking about the major classics and Coppelia stated, “There is not a single dancer in the company (RB) of native training who I think is fit to dance those ballets.
Ismene Brown, “Not Bussell?” “No” replied Mr Crisp. Ismene Brown, “Yoshida?” “ No replied Mr Crisp….They are no more than First Soloists, essentially if we look at performances of “Swan Lake”, “Beauty”,”Giselle”, “Coppelia”, with the eye of time and by the absolute standard of the world.”
It’s all a question of how your standards have evolved and established as to how you view particular dancers and I think Mr Crisp is not extreme in his view, nor was he when he said that, “He would rather see the "Trocks" dance "Giselle" than Guillem.