The Los Angeles Times reveals that it was Svetlana Zakharova who wanted American David Hallberg as her prince in the first ballet to be staged at the Bolshoi Theatre after the restoration:
Hallberg said that it was relayed to him that it was Zakharova who ultimately decided that he should dance with her on opening night. [Artistic Director] Sergei Filin confirmed that, saying that he and Grigorovich had offered her a choice of six partners for the premiere.
“So Svetlana was to choose a prince for herself,” the artistic director said. “She looked at the list and said that although she would be happy to dance with all of them she would rather dance with David Hallberg if she can, and the issue of her partner was resolved.”
Hallberg in turn spoke very highly of Zakharova, who he said “is very supportive both on- and offstage.”
“Svetlana is fabulous and I can't ask for more,” he said. “She is le grande dame at the Bolshoi and she is prima ballerina of the world, and again I had to prove to her that I can partner her well.”
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.