Earlier this month, 15-year-old American dancer Ava Arbuckle was one of eight scholarship winners at the Prix de Lausanne. For her classical selection, Arbukle, clad in an ultra-feminine, rosette-covered tutu, performed Flora's variation from The Awakening of Flora, Marius Petipa's 1894 one-act ballet about the Greek goddess of Spring. Back in 2007, historian and choreographer Sergei Vikharev reconstructed the work for the Mariinsky Ballet, with Evgenia Obraztsova, then a soloist at the Mariinsky and now principal at the Bolshoi Ballet, originating the titular Flora.
In the above clip from a 2008 gala, Obraztsova easily conjures spring's loveliness in this darling solo., From the moment she flutters from the wing, she delights in her willowy port de bras and long, effortless lines. Her final diagonal, complete with balloné en pointe, double piqué turns and a cheeky air bite in the final balance, shows her moxie under all that charm! Happy #ThrowbackThursday!