I don’t want to get into a fight about the Prix de Lausanne, or Kochetkova for that matter. It appears that gold medals are no longer (or rarely) awarded (Vishneva won one); Kochetkova did win one of the two top prizes prizes that are offered annually:
Prix de Lausanne Scholarship - a scholarship of one year's free tuition and the sum of CHF 16,000 in ten monthly installments for living expenses during the prize winner's year of studies.
Prix de Lausanne Apprentice Scholarship - consist of a one-year apprentice scholarship for awardees over 17 and the sum of CHF 16,000 in ten monthly installments for living expenses.
I agree about the unfairness of the Mariinsky’s system of promotion, but I don’t see why Kochetkova (or any dancer) has to be put down to make the point. I don’t need to defend Maria. I hope readers enjoyed her performance. Comments on its strengths and weaknesse would be informative. Instead this forum, unfortunately, has become tiresome and trite, with the same two or three people endlessly repeating their positions, and attacking or defending dancers instead of the blatant favoritism and unfairness of the system (a situation that has been inherent in the art from the beginning).
You are absolutely right and it is the favouritism and blatant unfairness of the system that is the real problem, and the unfairness of the Fateyev regime is actually unprecedented in Mariinsky history. That is actually what I was trying to get across with my criticism of the casting of Kochetkova - there is more young ballerina talent at the Mariinsky than ever before in its history - and there would have been even more if Yuri Fateyev had hired Shapran and Smirnova - but the young ballerinas are not given the chance to perform, and so many of the best graduates are afraid that they will never be given a chance to perform, that they take up contracts with other companies, instead of with their rightful home company. This is a state of affairs that simply did not occur before. .
Despite all the great wealth of young ballerina talent, the majority of the dancers spend most of their time dancing in the corps when previous directors, Vaziev and Vinogradov, would have had them dancing principal roles and some, particularly Stepanova, might be a principal, instead of a corps/character girl, ranked as coryphee.
The favouritism shown to some dancers and unfairness of the system is only highlighted by recent casting. Despite all the abundance of talented ballerinas within the ranks, Fateyev deprives them of roles and brings in two dancers to dance the leads in three of January's performances: Kochetkova, who Vaziev did not hire, who Vinogradov woudl not have hired and Fateyev definitely would not have hired, gets to dance Giselle and Masha, depriving the young talent of their chances. In addition to this, on 18th,a former Mariinsky dancer, now dancing in Dresden, Natalia Sologub, will dance Cinderella. Outstanding corps ballerina Oksana Marchuk has never danced a significant role and would dance Giselle, Masha and Cinderella better than the guests. Also, San Francisco and Dresden are not equivalent to the Royal Ballet, or Royal Danish or Paris Opera or ABT, so I do not understand why Fateyev is choosing lower level companies for bringing in guest artists, when the ballerinas he already has within his company deserve their chances and can do far better. This is the point that needs to be made.
The Fateyev regime has brought the definition of unfair to unseen and record levels.