Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote are some of my favorite ballets. I love watching the grace that is Odette and Aurora and the strength of Juliet and Kitri. But after watching this clip from a DVD released in 2009 of Mariinsky Ballet principal Alina Somova, I can say Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote is now one of my favorite roles.
In this video, Somova appears before Don Quixote in a dream. She mirrors the subtle but captivating orchestra from the moment she walks onstage, all the while radiating an understated elegance from her first port de bras to her last fouetté. I love the fluidity of her arms as she glides from stage left to stage right between each suspended développé. Her entrechats across the stage add a playful note to an otherwise regal performance.
When Somova was promoted in 2004, only a year after joining the company, critics doubted her promise as an artist. But, they cannot deny her transformation from the budding, technically gifted student in the documentary Ballerina to one of the premiere dancers of the Mariinsky. Now in her 14th season, we can't wait to see what else is in store for her.