Thanks Natalia for all the links, translations, and video clips!! ......I noticed that Olga Smirnova and Sergei Strelkov both were supposed to dance in Diana Vishneva's benefit gala tonight. Is it unusual for recent graduates to participate in galas (especially if they're not going to the Mariinsky, like Smirnova)? Or is it pretty commonplace?
Not that usual. Smirnova is quite special. Remember, she (with partner Strelkov) was even invited to perform at the Ulanova Gala in London last month by the organizer, Vladimir Vasiliev! So she's already settling into the "international gala circuit," if you will. I would not be surprised if we see her at next year's Youth America Grand Prix Gala or similar events.
I've corrected the description of up-and-comer Ksenia Shiganshina
(to dance Corsaire pdd in Sunday's final graduation concert). Working off my dusty memory yesterday, I had incorrectly described her as having transferred from a private academy in Moscow last year. In fact, she transferred from across town, having already graduated from the private Leonid Yakobson Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg last year but given a chance to 'refine' her style with a year or two of additional studies at the Vaganova. She indeed won the Mikhailovsky Grand-Prix this past November, having bested Daria Bochkova and other 'favorites' from the Bolshoi's academy in that competition.