Thanks for the update on Ayupova, Catherine. Great news, indeed.
It would be interesting to note how Lacotte's Papillon was reviewed when Kolpakova and later Evteyeva danced it in the 1970s. Of course at that time critics were hardly able to pan things on their own initiative.
Not just 'Papillon pdd,' ripowam. Lacotte staged another small gem on the Kirov during the late '70s, 'Markitanka' (Vivandiere pas de six), for Alla Sizova. Both works became part of the standard divertissements-rep and are still performed occasionally. For example, at the 2003 Mariinsky Festival, the company presented a lovely "Evening of Classical Choreography" that included both of the above-cited works, in addition to Lacotte's staging of Fanny Elssler's 'Cachucha,' for Yulia Makhalina. On that occasion, 'Papillon' was danced by Ayupova/Kolb -- the last time that I saw the ballerina perform. 'Markitanka' was led by Irina Zhelonkina -- another dancer who is rarely seen in solo roles today -- and Anton Korsakov.
re. Zhelonkina - Perhaps my eyes were playing tricks but, I could swear, I saw Zhelonkina dancing in the front row of the corps during the Garland Dance of 'Sleeping Beauty,' last week. Or perhaps it was her 'twin'? To think that Zhelonkina danced Aurora once or twice in the early '90s, before settling into second-soloist roles, such as Florine and Fairy Violente.