Hapless Darcy loses another man

Drama at the Ballet: Cursed female star sees fourth partner walk out
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The curse of Darcy Bussell descended again yesterday as the Royal Ballet's youngest female star lost another male partner, Zoltan Solymosi, after he fell out with the company director and senior staff.

The handsome Hungarian dancer, who came to Covent Garden as a principal in January 1992, departed earlier this week, it was announced yesterday. A press statement blamed "irreconcilable differences with the company's director, Anthony Dowell, and senior artistic staff".

The dancer's departure will be a grievous loss to the beautiful and talented Bussell, 27, who seems increasingly doomed in her search for a stable male partner.

The rot started with Jonathan Cope, who accompanied her first leading role in 1989, but left ballet eight months later to go into business. Next came Robert Hill, a tall, romantic American whose career ended with a serious injury sustained performing Swan Lake in Washington.

Next came the much-heralded partnership between Bussell and Irek Mukhamedov, the former Bolshoi star - but they turned out to be mismatched.

Zoltan Solymosi, 27, was the latest hope. He was one of that rare band of male dancers tall enough to partner Bussell, who is 5ft 7in and one of only three of the Royal Ballet's principal men above her height. He was also strong enough to complement her powerful style, was the same age and matched her good looks. By his own admission Solymosi is "a passionate, very temperamental and very angry'' dancer, and it was almost certainly this characteristic which led to his downfall.

The pair were scheduled to dance together in Apollo next Thursday and Saturday. Jonathan Cope, who returned to ballet in 1992, will stand in for Solymosi.

Bussell, who is rehearsing for Apollo, will be far from happy at losing yet another partner.

"He's a power dancer who can match my power," she once remarked of the Hungarian. "We are well suited to each other. He's very dramatic and he loves dancing."