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Gala for Yulia Makhalina

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Leonid, I am guessing that this may be a prelude to her retirement? However, it is hard to argue with the many years of beauty and artistry that she has given us. I will never forget a magical Nikiya that I witnessed at the Mariinsky in May 1994. During her Shades scene 'solo with the scarf,' she performed perfectly floaty triple pirouettes when holding the scarf then, after she let go of the scarf, performed a brilliant series of pirouettes culminating in a 'quintuple' (5 turns) near the back of the stage. All of this was tossed-off in a nonchallant manner with that beautifully 'aloof-aristocratic' face of hers. The curtain calls went on forever that night. The hard 'front curtain' was brought down...the house lights were turned off...the audience refused to leave, yelling 'brava' for Makhalina. Magical memories!

I would hope that Zhanna Ayupova will be similarly honored with a gala for lifetime achievement, some time this season.

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