Sit back for a moment and think about those dancers who have been stalled forever at the soloist level, or maybe even at coryphee or in the corps. I’m talking about the standouts who never seem to get promoted.
The late Rebecca Wright comes to mind: she came to ABT as a soloist after having been a principal at the Joffrey (the present-day Joffrey does not have principal dancers; not sure of the history but it probably has been different in the past). For a current cult ballerina I’m thinking of Sarah Lane, who is famous with the public for having been the body double who did the actual dancing in Black Swan, but who is more famous among ABT fans as being the girl who keeps getting passed over for the big promotion, even though she is renowned for her Giselle and other interpretations.
In the recent past, of course, there was our beloved Evgenia Obraztsova, who lingered for years in soloist levels at the Maryinsky. Or maybe Yulia Stepanova, same problem. Both are now well-regarded primas at the Bolshoi, so who knows what the Maryinsky’s problem was.
Anyway, let me know about your favorite cult ballerinas.