Until recently, foreigners were almost never hired into the company. Rasta Thomas from Bad Boys of Dance performed there for a brief season in 2001, but American women have never been included in the elite troupe. Until now.
Under Yuri Fateyev, deputy director of the ballet since 2008, the hiring policy is changing: "It's not important to me whether a dancer is Russian, American or British," Fateyev explains. "What's important is that they are talented and can be used in our theater. It's the policy of Maestro (Valery) Gergiev that any capable individual be able to work at the Mariinsky."