If employers see weaknesses in their employees and are interested in growing those employees, they pull the employees aside and get them coaching. They can't make the coaching stick, but they can make it available.
If employers see weaknesses in employees and think they can just buy another one, then not much happens.
Exactly. I feel like there hasn't been an investment in ABT's dancers to help them develop and correct issues that can be fixed. Rather the time and energy has been spent on pushing dancers who aren't ready and specifically forcing them into the mold of what KM wants of company principals. While this approach could pay off, I don't buy it mainly because you stunt the dancers personal artistic growth. Where and HOW does a dancer learn to nuance their performances and interpretations is they are so caught up in learning and preparing so many new roles every season just to try and reach the standards that the former/current stars of ABT have achieved? There's no time for that and that's what I believe is making some of these recent promotions head-scratching. We don't get to see the work that gets put in during studio time, we only see the finished product, and often they seem bland and boring b/c the dancers themselves haven't had time to grow artistically...it's all about making it through the ballet from a technical perspective.
Which leads me to believe that KM isn't concerned with developing true home-grown stars but rather a core set of principals that can "get the company through" their regular performances, tours, and grandeur and extent of the Met season...he knows he can attract the big names and flashier stars for a few performances so that ABT gets a handful of note-worthy performances every year. Thus, he's spending time on having a group of "steady eddy" principals rather than developing true American stars within the company who might be pulled away from ABT during the non-Met season. The ABT roster of principals for the first decade of the 2000s was full of stars in their own right who could be/and were often invited to other engagements nationally and world-wide...it seems that KM's tactic recently is to be selfish with his new principals and keep them at home. (which of course makes for a roster of principals i'm personally not excited to watch perform because they can seem so cookie-cutter at times)
Re: Stella - I don't buy that there are any lingering health issues, I've seen her pre and post injury. Every time her performances have stood out. And while it isn't always the smoothest, she avoids visible mistakes and dances with intent from the heart. And her engagement with RNZB proves that physically she's up to the task. So unless it was a personal choice on her end (i.e. doesn't want to be tied down to one company, over-committed at the risk of re-injury, etc), I don't understand how the offer's never come around again...it's been almost 7 years now, right? I can live with no promotion, but I'm not sure I can deal with never seeing her do principal roles with ABT...the things I'd do for her to have at least ONE Giselle...(and my mind just went to the really sad place -- Stella debut in Giselle was supposed to be opposite Hallberg...and that was in he early, "not yet a star" years...oh the potential of that partnership we'll never see)