Today we learned that Diana Vishneva will give a farewell performance to American Ballet Theatre this June with two performances of Cranko's Onegin opposite Marcelo Gomes. She has for the past several years insisted on only dancing with him and has danced but a handful of ABT performances - functioning mostly as a MET guest artist who was permitted a permanent place on the roster. Diana said in an email to the NYTimes that she wouldn't rule out one-off guest appearances with ABT. We think this means that she will come back nearly every year to do her one or two performances and continue to monopolize Marcelo in those roles so long as she can. Little will have changed other than to make the permanent roster look slightly more honest. There's more work to be done. One -eva down, two -ovas to go.
Years ago, Valery Gergiev told Diana that she could not be a principal ballerina at the Mariinsky Theatre if she only danced one or two performances per year. A report of this discussion was included in a cinema documentary the title of which Haglund long ago forgot. But that was the most significant take-away from it – the official ruler of one of the world's most revered performing arts institutions telling its biggest international star at the time, in effect, If you want to be part of us, you have to be here. You are not unexpendable.
The Mariinsky rarely allows Diana to dance the Petipa classics anymore – occasionally on tour. We won't ever go to see her Giselle again because of the tasteless canoodling with Gomes that she added to the Act II PdD one year. She wouldn't have dared exhibit that stuff on the Mariinsky stage, but somehow, ABT's standards were low enough to let it slip by. But she can still act up a storm and that is what the role of Tatiana in Onegin calls for. We can expect Diana's Tatiana to rip like we've never seen her rip before.