. . . Yet it is strange that an unfinished artist is promoted before the remarkable pair Obraztsova and "Big Red" Kondaurova. But then, as mentioned many times elsewhere on BT, Part and Reichlen are yet to be principals. It isn't only in Russia.
Reality check time: Somova didn't even make annual as a First Soloist. She was "upgraded" for the April City Center engagement. This "promotion" simply doesn't pass the smell test. Also, if the Maryinsky had considered seniority, (and they didn't), the First Soloist who should have gone forward would've been Ekaterina Osmolkina; then Novikova, then Obratzova, then Kondaurova in that order. Usually, in the MT, (what's supposed to happen - in theory and practice), is that if a Principal retires, (male or female), then those "set" to move up, move up a notch. Of course, this procedure has been subject to
change in extraordinary circumstances - only for unprecedented & exceptionally gifted talents
. Somova doesn't live in that zip code.
Compare Osmolkina's study list to Alina's - there's no comparison:
Company trouper for 9 years. Prize-winner at the Vaganova-prix competition (St Petersburg, 1998). Prize-winner at the International Ballet Competition (Seoul, 2004). Repertoire: La Sylphide (Sylphide, The Sylphides); Giselle (Giselle, Monna, Zulma, Pas de deux); Le Corsaire (Gulnara, The three Odalisques); La Bayadère (Gamzatti, Jampo, Grand pas classique), revised version by Vakhtang Chabukiani & the reconstruction; The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora, Generosity Fairy, Silver Fairy, Diamond Fairy), Konstantin Sergeyev, Aurora in the 1890; Le Reveil de Flore (Flore), revival of the 1894 production; Swan Lake (Prince´s friends, Two Swans); Raymonda (Clemans, Henrietta); Don Quixote (Kitri, Flower-sellers, Variation); Pertoushka (the Elegant Lady´s friend); The Fountain of Bakhchisarai (Maria, Young women); Romeo and Juliet (Juliet, Juliet´s companion); The Legend of Love (Shyrin, Shyrin´s Friends, Gold); The Bedbug (Zoya); Serenade; Piano Concerto No 2 (Ballet Imperial); the roles in Apollo, The Four Temperaments; Theme and Variations; Jewels (Emeralds & Diamonds); Etudes; Manon (Lescaut´s Mistress); The Nutcracker, the Vainonen & Chemiakin productions, (Masha, The Nutcracker´s Sisters, The Canteen-girl, China Dance, Waltz of the Flowers), Princess Pirlipat, or worthiness punished (Spanish Rat dance), production by Chemiakin, choreography by Kirill Simonov; Cinderella (Dance Teacher), choreography by Alexei Ratmansky; The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, The Magic Nut (Frog); Ondine(Giannina), choreography by Pierre Lacotte; Aria Suspended (soloist). Moreover, Osmolkina's repertoire is slightly larger than both Novikova's and Obratzova's.
Unlike Somova, these ladies, and many others in the lower ranks don't need a flashlight, microscope, rubber gloves, a seeing eye-dog and tweezers to get through a ballet. Somova continues to nurse
roles she's been given for the last six years. Her (now legendary) inconsistency is entirely another matter. Compared with the established Principals, Osmolkina, Obratzova, Novikova, including Kondaurova and other Second Soloists, Somova's study list is severely wanting. Not only that, compare the documented critical literature between all of these dancers. Somova's 'critique output' is conservatively
80% negative - 20% positive. That's a landslide of officially negative opinion. So, to describe Somova as "unfinished" is putting it mildly.
I'm sorry everyone, but IMO this situation stinks on ice.