Looking over the program for this year's Festival, it seems pretty good. My experience has been that it's not necessarily the inventiveness of the program, but the quality of the performances that really shines.
Half the performances will be in the new theater, which should be very interesting. Two Swan Lakes will be danced there, the first time, I recall, that any of the classics has been danced more than once since 2008 when six(!) Swan Lakes were presented. I can live on Swan Lakes so this is fine with me. Who'll get the two this year? I would guess that at least one Odette/Odile will go to a guest artist. I keep hoping eternal for Veronika Part (ABT, formerly Mariinsky). Of the Mariinsky possibilities Ulyana Lopatkina and Oxana Skorik have not yet been listed for anything. Daria Pavlenko did this beautifully years ago.
I really look forward to seeing Olga Esina as Giselle.
La Bayadere will feature Alina Somova as Nikia, Isabella Boylston (ABT) as Gamzatti and Kim Kimin as Solor. Based on very fine internet comments about Alina Somova's recent Swan Lakes in Washington DC, this could be another exceptional performance. I've seen Isabella Boylston dance Gamzatti and liked her very much. I liked her Odette/Odile even more. (Also saw Simone Messmer as Gamzatti in the same series. Hopefully this amazing artist will appear someday at a Festival.) It's always great to see Kim Kimin.
Le Corsaire, which I've never seen live, should be danced beautifully by Ekaterina Kondaurova as Medora. I'm only familiar with the lovely Jardin Animé act and the dance for three by Madora with Ali and Conrad. Ivan Vasiliev will probably tear up the stage, in the manner of Rudolph Nureyev and Farukh Ruzimatov, as Ali. Andrei Yermakov will be Conrad.
Diana Vishneva should be wonderful during her evening.
Of the new additions, Frederich Ashton's Sylvia will open the Festival for two nights. Viktoria Tereshkina will dance the first night and should be outstanding.
("Sylvia is a typical classical ballet in many respects, yet it has many interesting features which make it unique. Sylvia is notable for its mythological Arcadian setting, creative choreographies, expansive sets and, above all, its remarkable score.
"Ashton re-choreographed Sylvia in 1952. As the story goes, what sparked Ashton's interest in Sylvia was a dream he had in 1946. In the dream, Delibes charged Ashton with revitalizing his under-appreciated ballet and Ashton, upon waking, took up the task. The master choreographed Sylvia with a strong emphasis on the lead rôle; in fact he designed the entire ballet as a tribute to Margot Fonteyn, a dancer with whom he worked. Clive Barnes, an American drama critic, noted, "the whole ballet is a garland presented to the ballerina by her choreographer."….Ashton also tweaked Barbier's libretto for the première to maximize interest in the story.)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_(ballet
Then there will be two new works that I'm looking forward to seeing for the first time, Wayne McGregor's Infra and Alexei Ratmansky's Concerto DSCH. The Mariinsky dancers seem more comfortable and proficient each year with this sort of new material. Last year Ekaterina Kondaurova amazed me with her dancing of all the leads in George Balanchine's Jewels and did just fine with the William Forsythe evening along with all the other dancers.
Det Kongelige Teater and The Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers will be a new experience. Hopefully something fine will be be seen here.
I've always enjoyed the closing Gala very much. The Divertissements have been excellent and George Balanchine's Symphony In C should be equally fine.
Some ballerinas, high on my wish list as guest artists, would be Myriam Ould-Braham (Paris Opera Ballet), Maria Kochetkova (San Francisco Ballet), the return once again of Alina Cojocaru and Marianela Nuñez (Royal Ballet).