But let's simplify, and talk about the root issue behind this thread - students of a company-affiliated school not going into that company. 'Twas ever thus. Students from La Scala went to dance in Paris, Parisian students danced in London, School of American Ballet students joined American Ballet Theatre - it happened everywhere, continues to happen, and will continue as long as human nature is involved in selecting where an employee will work, and on the part of both the hirer and the hired.
I think in the case of the Royal it's a little more involved than that. The Royal like the other great companies POB, Mariinksy, Bolshoi, RDB, NYCB has been linked intrinsically to its school throughout its history until the last decade. True the other companies have allowed in outside trained dancers from time to time (though I am aware that RDB has upped its outsider recruitment policy) but the stars of the Royal have been traditionally a product of its school, ditto its once world-class corps.
The Royal is increasingly like ABT, indeed with its overwhelming majority of Principals and First soloists trained, schooled and working in other companies the real question is the erosion of what was the Royal's style. A style BRB sees as its duty to maintain.
Ruteyo brought up this point:
Another important issue about the recent trend in hiring RBS graduates: in the past 5 years or so, it seems like those who win the Prix de Lausanne Apprentice Awards (not the Scholarship Award) are having an easier time getting into the RB rather than those who went through the RBS system. I won't name names as this may offend several students and company members. If you scrutinize the evidence closely, what does this say about the recent policy of the RB? Is it better to maximize your chances of a Prix de Lausanne medal and buy your way into the RB through a one-shot competition system rather than FULLY investing several years in the RBS school itself? Ideally, De Valois would have definitely valued the latter as the valid gateway into the company. I think the RB's recent hiring trends will cause further polemic with regards to the politics of the RB-RBS hiring relationship. I personally think it's terribly unfair to some of the RBS graduates, who otherwise could have gotten into the Royal Ballet, HAD they garnered a pseudo-company position as a "Prix de Lausanne Apprentice" in the first place.
I think though it's more a question of "fairness" - the school has most definitely been for many years NOT producing finished products, though that doesn't mean that with careful nurturing they didn't have the potential to be "stars" Jamie Bond, Robert Parker, Monica Zamora, Iain Mackay, Thomas Caley, Jenna Roberts - all dancers who at BRB found the means to achieve the technical and artistic abilities they didn't have or which were embryonic to achieve principal status.
The problem is that the Covent Garden company is a big business, expenisve business and unfortunately that business is one which is undervalued within society - ballet. The Covent Garden company needs its stars to be fully formed on entering and sadly it doesn't have the time to nurture its talent.
That notwithstanding the Covent Garden company is a draw for any young dancer, well paid, full time contracts, great health benefits and support and ostensibly a great rep and it will always be a major attraction for foreign dancers. It costs upwards of £20,000 a year to be a student at the Royal ballet school, students from poor countries of course can't afford this means of training and fast tracking into the country, hell students in the UK can't either - it's why despite the protestations that dance is egalitarian and the cheesy Billy Elliot myth, dance remains resolutely middle class, they're the only ones who can afford to train their kids.
Of course given that the training in the former Soviet countries and South America, especially, is so much better at producing the virtuosos modern ballet demands, it's far better for a young dancer to train at home and then use the Lausanne scholarship to come to prominence and attention with the Royal Ballet. It's not Cojocaru, Nunez, Polunin or McRae's fault that they were more talented than their British compatriots and used the only means at their disposal to gain entrance to the company. If the school was producing talent of that calibre the various prizes would be irrelevant, the company wouldn't need to shop around.
The other argument against the Royal's recruitment policy is when an RBS trained dancer gains fame within another company and comes back to the Royal or more often stays with their company and everyone laments "the one that got away" etc but the real issue is that that dancer hadn't achieved their potential at the school and needed the nurturing of a company which valued talent as an embryonic commidity and helped the dancer to reach their potential.
The Royal's burn out rate and injury rate amongst its fast-tracked stars is high, too high. Dancers are given back breaking workloads which cause them to self-destruct before they have the stamina to cope. Cojocaru especially I really can't see lasting another five let alone ten years given the horrendous extent of the injuries she's had to cope with. She was thrust into the spotlight far too soon, or rather she was given a seasoned ballerina's workload far too soon - Mcrae, Putrov, Bussell - all plagued by injuries from the outset. Again and again it comes down to the Covent Garden's bizarre policy of all or nothing, because it's not just artistry that needs nurturing it's a body's strength and stamina that equally needs slow progressive training to withstand a career as a principal.