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I see that Marcelo Gomes will be joining the Mikhailovsky Ballet as a guest principal next season. David Hallberg is already a guest principal with the Bolshoi (or perhaps it's the other way round and he is a guest principal with ABT) This type of arrangement may benefit the dancer artistically (and, I assume, financially) but does it benefit the companies, particularly the "home company", or is it something that they just have to accept in order to keep their star dancers? Do the companies' audiences actually benefit overall? I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts on this.

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This is an interesting one Aileen. I prefer to see company dancers that I know and admire. For example, if I was coming to London to see the Bolshoi I would be most miffed if I saw a guest artist. On the other hand, I was speaking to a dancer from one of the companies I follow a couple of years ago and his attitude was that the occasional guest could benefit both sides because the company could also learn from the guest and perhaps see a new perspective to a long-standing work.

 

And then again, when I was in Copenhagen a few years ago to see Don Q, I grumbled all the way to the theatre when I found out we were seeing guests. However when I saw who the guests were, for once I was absolutely thrilled to bits! It was Anette Delgado and Joel Carreno and they were stupendous!

 

I suppose if it is your "local company" it may be the audience's only chance to see some world renowned dancers. My friends still talk about David Nixon's guest performances with BRB and that must have been the best part of 20 years ago! Sadly I never saw him dance.

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I count myself lucky enough to have seen him dance Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, especially as it was starring Yoko - a chance visit to the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage ?years ago!! Was the company called International Ballet perhaps?

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I enjoy guest dancers, because sometimes it’s a reunion dance and other times it’s a precursor of things to come.

 

Recently, I saw Anastasia and Denis Matvienko in Swan Lake at the Mariinsky (Denis left the Mariinsky, right?). So I consider that a reunion guest dance. They have great chemistry.

 

Also recently, I saw Polina Semionova guest dance and David Hallberg in La Bayadère at the Met in New York. As it turned out, that was a precursor of things to come. I fell in love with Polina’s dancing.

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alison - it was London City Ballet at Stevenage too. I also saw Michael Crookes there I believe as Prince Florimund/Desire. Was that more London City? - of course, some companies were total inventions like the National Ballet of the Seychelles (= Nureyev & colleagues) at St David's Hall in Cardiff!

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We went to St Petersburg for the Mariinsky Spring Festival a few years ago. We had booked for Vishneva/Fadeev in Swan Lake but got Rojo/Kolb. This was very interesting as either her performance was differently nuanced or we saw her in a new light in that different context. Either way, we somehow appreciated her all the more. And the response from the audience, including several Mariinsky Principals, was amazing.

 

We have heard reports of much the same experiences on the part of ROH regulars who have seen other RB Principals guesting abroad.

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And now we have Natalia Osipova guesting at RB with Carlos Acosta in Swan Lake in October!!!! And Tamara Rojo and Sergei Polunin are set to return for 3 farewell performances of Marguerite and Armand next February. I'm happy.

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