Meet Alina Cojocaru, a stunningly talented Romanian ballerina--now a principal dancer at the Royal Ballet of London--who in my humble opinion may well become the next Margot Fonteyn (and as you can imagine, I would never make such comparisons lightly). I'm not certain of the date of this performance; Cojocaru's Kirti (in Don Quixote) marked her debut ballet with the Kiev school in the mid-nineties, when she was a teen. She's now thirty and is engaged to her partner Johan Korborg, who, as you can see in this clip, is no slouch himself.
But as for Cojocaru...*sigh*...what beautiful lines and what absolutely incredible extension. I watched this three times, with a goosebumps bristling along my limbs and lump wedged in my throat. She's technically near-perfect but is by no means a flawless dancer, not yet: she travels a tiny bit while executing those whiplash fouettes, for one thing. And dancing Kirti requires more fire, at least to my romantic mind. Cojocaru will mature and develop subtleties like emotionality and musicality over time. In this performance, however, she is perhaps too calm and collected.
Nonetheless, I am sure Dame Margot would approve. I know I'll be watching.