In fact, whether or not the Bolshoi administration was involved in this decision, I could not help wondering if the heads of the Bolshoi were not just as happy to avoid giving Halberg the opening Onegin--that is, if they might prefer not to have the company's first performance of Pushkin's iconic hero danced by the American who has been away for a year. And (speculating further), who knows? perhaps as much for his own sake as anything else. Surely critics (and god knows who else) would be waiting to pounce and quite indifferent to Hallberg's success in the role in the United States. The source material is sacred territory for Russian culture even if it's Cranko's ballet and the Stuttgart's signature.
Did Zakharova select her partner for herself ?
Do prima-ballerinas or big stars at Bolshoi usually have the advantage to choose whom they want to dance with ?