I happen to agree with all of you. I attended her funeral service this morning at St. Nicholas' Cathedral. Many dancers, pedagogues were in attendance. This is a huge loss for the theatre. It is still a shock to so many, me included.
I'm shocked and saddened to hear this news. Galina Rakhmanova was THE TSARINA of character dancers for so many years. There will never be a Bayadere Indian Dance lead like she! I'm old enough to remember that she used to be cast, during the 80s and early 90s, in pointe-shoe solo roles, too, such as Big Swan in Swan Lake or Street Dancer in DonQ. She was one of Mme Dudinskaya's most loyal students and had a huge following among the long-time local fans in the upper galleries. Rakhmanova will be missed. RIP.
NN, I agree, just wanted to add I saw her numerous times as the Street Dancer in DonQ and just prior to my arrival in St P she was dancing classical roles more frequently --which she excelled in as well-- as you note. In her final performing years she truly came into her own as a character dancer...even today when I see a character role performed, as good as it may be, I find myself recalling her presence on stage... Her talents ran deep and I am not sure they were fully used, as they should have been, these last five or so years in the theatre. She was officially dismissed along with Ayupova in 2007 and had been receiving perfunctory coaching assignments since then, while fighting this disease. As someone at the service said, she had so much knowledge and talent and it should have been used and passed on... It's just a tragic story.
As the very well written press release announcing her passing noted, when she appeared in a performance, that appearance alone would make it into an "event" and often her dancing was the highlight of the evening -- I speak of something such as Don Q, when perhaps the viewer would come to see Kitri/Basil but in the end, it was Raxmanova who they remembered most...