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Natalya Osipova - a new Principal of the Royal Ballet


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Mr. Kekhman breaks the news:

 

The Principal of Mikhailovsky Theatre in St.Petersburg Natalya Osipova has become also a Principal of the Royal Ballet in Great Britain. The ‘Izvestiya’ newspaper was informed about it by the Director General of the Mikhailovsky Theatre Vladimir Kekhman.

According to him, the official announcement will be made soon by the management of the Royal Ballet. At the same time Natalya Osipova will remain a Principal of the Mikhailovsky and will continue dancing on its stage in the earlier scheduled repertoire.

 


Edited to remove Russian script.

Edited by Amelia
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What can one say .... THIS IS FANTASTIC NEWS ..... A reason for joy in London.  Wonder if there also will be some guest appearances by a certain Mr V .... (That's the order that the pair became principals at ABT ... First she guested ... then became a principal ... Then he guested and .... then he too became a principal.  .... Seems to me the Royal NEEDS men!!!!)

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It does need men.....but tall ones!!  However, I would be delighted to make an exception in Mr V's case.  Looking forward to seeing much more of them in London, and it will be very interesting to see how Osipova interprets the MacMillan repertoire, as well as the more contemporarly pieces.  Wishing her much luck, happiness and longevity here in London.

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...and the Bolshoi didn't think much of her, casting her mainly in soubrette roles, but the RB makes her a Principal. How companies differ!

Is she now a Principal with 3 companies: RB, ABT and Mikhailovsky?

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Releases here:

 

http://www.roh.org.uk/news/natalia-osipova-to-join-the-royal-ballet-as-a-principal-dancer

 

http://dancetabs.com/2013/04/natalia-osipova-to-join-the-royal-ballet/

 

 

I may be dim, but remain unclear whether she will be a Principal only with the RB or will be remaining also on the books elsewhere.

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The press release say: " Her first performances will be as Juliet in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo&Juliet, partnered by Carlos Acosta."

 

So she'll not dance Kitri...

Don Q remains in the rep after performances of Romeo & Juliet have begun. It is my understanding that she will be dancing Kitri partnered by Thiago Soares.

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Sim, surely Mr. V can stretch ... (certainly he can jump!!!) ... and they are SO good together.  CAN'T imagine that either will want to leave ABT - They only really dance the NYC season as it is.  I say this because there are so many RB productions in the ABT rep.  That way they could really concentrate on the new material.  Also, Mr. V has partnered Alina in NYC.  Would make sense ... given that, sadly, Mr. Koburg's time as an active principal dancer must be coming to an end.  

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From what Kekhman says, presumably she's actually a Guest Principal?  Not altogether surprising news, I feel, and it will be interesting to see how she fits into the RB's rep.

 

I hope the ticket booking system is up to coping with the demand, bearing in mind last period's public booking problems :)

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The ROH press release has her dancing R&J with Acosta as her first performance with the Royal Ballet. I assume therefore that she will not be dancing Kitri (would be highly unfair on Kaneko if Osipova replaced some of her performances)

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Sim, on 08 Apr 2013 - 13:37, said:

 "it will be very interesting to see how Osipova interprets the MacMillan repertoire, as well as the more contemporarly pieces." 

I have no qualms about it. She danced MacMillan's 'R & J' with ABT to a great acclaim:


I remember David Hallberg’s interview. He adored her and confessed that never he had such inspiration before and felt united with a stage partner - they felt like being one.

She is brilliant in contemporary pieces. It is enough to remember her in MacGregor's duet with Edward Watson at a gala  in CG on 30 October last year; also in Twyla Tharp’s ‘In the Upper Room’, in Petit’s ‘Passacaglia’, Forsythe’s ‘Herman Schmermann’, Ratmansky’s ‘Russian Seasons’ and many others.

Here is her schedule up to July this year:

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Well, it's exciting to have the opportunity to see more of Natalia but I do feel a bit sorry for the existing (female) dancers at the RB. It seems to me that there are several fairly senior ones who have got a bit "stuck" at a certain level and have not had much of an opportunity to take on the lead roles in the full length ballets, which, presumably, they need to do successfully in order to be promoted to principal. In contrast, some very junior dancers eg Yasmine, Francesca and Claudia have been given opportunities to dance quite large roles early on in their careers. Whilst the RB will be losing three female principals in just over a year and obviously feels the need to find replacements there is an equally pressing need to appoint some new male principals. Kobborg, even if he returns, will not be dancing for much longer and neither will Acosta and, with the possible exception of Bonelli, all the rest of them have certain limitations which restricts who they can dance with and what they can dance. The RB needs another tall danseur noble and another virtuoso dancer. I suppose that it is unlikely that they will find one person who is both.

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Well this is good news about Natalia Osipova joining RB although I didn't like her with Acosta in Swan Lake -  I hope they partner her with someone else - taller.  Thiago would be good in Don Q but I had hoped to see him with his wife after their wonderful Onegin!  Have I missed something but where is ROH casting published - I haven't heard from the Friends - maybe my mail is late?

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Well, it's exciting to have the opportunity to see more of Natalia but I do feel a bit sorry for the existing (female) dancers at the RB. It seems to me that there are several fairly senior ones who have got a bit "stuck" at a certain level and have not had much of an opportunity to take on the lead roles in the full length ballets, which, presumably, they need to do successfully in order to be promoted to principal. In contrast, some very junior dancers eg Yasmine, Francesca and Claudia have been given opportunities to dance quite large roles early on in their careers. Whilst the RB will be losing three female principals in just over a year and obviously feels the need to find replacements there is an equally pressing need to appoint some new male principals. Kobborg, even if he returns, will not be dancing for much longer and neither will Acosta and, with the possible exception of Bonelli, all the rest of them have certain limitations which restricts who they can dance with and what they can dance. The RB needs another tall danseur noble and another virtuoso dancer. I suppose that it is unlikely that they will find one person who is both.

 

If the RB gets any more principals, both male and female, it does seriously limit the amount of dancing they can all do, though. There are some principals you hardly ever see on stage.

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If the RB gets any more principals, both male and female, it does seriously limit the amount of dancing they can all do, though. There are some principals you hardly ever see on stage.

Yes and no. The Royal are losing three major female principals this year (Rojo, Benjamin, Galeazzi) and have lost a couple of male principals in recent years (Polunin, Makahteli) without any replacements and have needed guest stars for three productions this season (one due to injury, one due to Rojo leaving, one pre-scheduled). I would like to see some internal promotions (and keeping my fingers crossed for certain dancers in the announcements later in the season) but think they run the risk of being thin on the ground if struck by a few injuries... 

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I think too that the addition of Osipova on the RB roster gives world recognition to the company's rank of principal, not, of course, that there haven't been a few others (e.g., Alina and Tamara) who have deservedly won such recognition for themselves previously.  I sincerely think the exchange with ABT is a very good idea in this regard as it is (like the competitions which so many international classical companies now use to mark out principals of international scope - as was the case, say, with Polunin and certainly Vasiliev) to give the young dancers who are being considered for promotion either company the opportunity to openly test their metal on a world stage.  True, of course, the exchange is beginning with two established principals (McRae and Stearns, albeit relatively young ones) but I feel it could have value in the future in assisting to evaluate promotions for both companies; seemingly providing a more objectively open rather than subjectively closed situation amongst but a very few in one national office.  Given the close relationship between the repertory of these two companies and their historic personnel, I certainly think this kind of forum could not do little harm.  

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Excellent news congratulations are due to Osipova! I would have liked to have seen Vasiliev join her however as he has previously danced with English National Ballet it wouldn't surprise me if he joined ENB. I long suspected since their 2010 tour at the ROH that they would like to appear alongside some of the British companies, I foresee many brilliant performances in the future - and a vastly depleted bank balance on my part!

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 I would have liked to have seen Vasiliev join her however as he has previously danced with English National Ballet it wouldn't surprise me if he joined ENB. 

 

Don't forget that Vasiliev danced free of charge with ENB in the special circumstances of paying a tribute to Roland Petit (in Jeune Homme et a Mort) immediately after the choreographer's death in 2011.

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Thanks for the info capybara,  I had forgotten the reason behind his appearance! if Vasiliev is moving to London to be with Osipova he won't want to be resting on his laurels so he must have something hidden up his sleeve! It may just be a case of which company he would be with compatible with.

 

A new article from the Guardian today:

 

Guardian The Natalia Osipova Effect Comes To The Royal Ballet

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2013/apr/17/natalia-osipova-royal-ballet

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I saw this quote about Vasiliev (from the telegraph) a while ago: "Some have speculated that this prodigy will eventually suffer for the lack of a grounding in pure classicism.". I don't know whether that's true (have never seen him dance) but if that is a commonly held belief (I don't know if it is), maybe that was a factor in him not being offered a RB contract, given the predominantly classical repertoire there?

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Russia Beyond the headlines Ballerina Natalia Osipova moves to London to join the Royal Ballet

http://rbth.ru/arts/2013/04/18/ballerina_natalia_osipova_moves_to_london_to_join_the_royal_ballet_25177.html

 

- a very good article which clarifies Osipova's move to the Royal Ballet

 

Thanks for sharing the quote chrischris :) I noticed in a few reviews for the Mikhailovsky season at the Coliseum that Vasiliev was compared adversely to Osipova which I found to be unfair. Vasiliev at around 24 has 2 years less experience than Osipova he also started his ballet training far later and yet he is the powerhouse that he is today. I am pretty sure that I read in an interview that he started out with traditional Russian dancing and then moved in to ballet. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/dance/3666548/Ivan-Vasiliev-the-boy-who-can-fly.html His command of English has also always been impressive, I remember way back in 2010 when he appeared on Andrew Marr for the BBC  and from the first attempted to give a full interview in English. I thought from this moment that he and Osipova would move to the either the UK or the USA so I can't say I am surpised by this move.

 

However I agree I think it is his breakneck style that may not fit with the Royal Ballet aesthetic, the dancers du jour of the RB tend to be less bravura in comparison to Vasiliev so I do agree that this may be a factor but on the other hand I know of people who were surprised by Osipova's appointment for the very same reason that Vasiliev would not be considered to fit. I've been following the careers of Osipova and Vasiliev since they were still training at the Bolshoi and Ilya was posting videos of their rehearsals on youtube and in terms of temprament they seem to balance each other out Osipova more serious and Vasiliev more playful which is why if I see one on stage with someone else my instant thought is - but where is the other? I think of them as one entity which is why even if working in separate companies within the UK I would prefer for both to grow and not stagnate as that would be a hideous waste of skill. Dance careers are so brief that for the fleeting moments that there are power couples such as Osipova and Vasiliev in the world they should be utilised to the full.

 

I think there becomes a level of attainment in dance which is too great to be restricted to one company, to one style of ballet but there is also a need to strike a balance between not eclipsing others who you are working alongside you but being able to showcase their talents alongside your own while not hiding your light under a bushel. With the Mikhailovsky this year it appeared that they were part of a cohesive whole, in the Bolshoi in the 2010 performance of Don Quixote I sensed an almost palpable resentment from the other company members on stage. I don't believe I would have noticed a difference if I had not seen the same ballet with a different cast the day before. In the first performance the whole company gave their all, in the second and final performance with Osipova and Vasiliev it seemed like an 80% effort by everyone else, a shoulder shrug of why bother you're not here to see us. Which is why the move from the Bolshoi didn't come as a surprise either. I sometimes wonder if it is the same with Polunin in that if he had people to work alongside to challenge his skill, whether what could be achieved on stage would be the kind of performance still being talked about 50 years from now.

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I don't think we can really say Ivan wouldn't fit in to the Royal Ballet without seeing him. (In the event it is all speculation at the moment as he has not committed himself to the Royal or any UK Company.)

Ivan's situation reminds me very much of Irek's when he came here back in 1990. Both made their names in big Bolshoi productions, playing rather macho or character roles. Both left the Bolshoi because they wanted to expand their repertory and perform other more classical roles. Even their stature is rather similar. I'm sure I remember comments about the size of Irek's thighs and rather stocky build that the Bolshoi didn't think suitable for more classical roles. And then look what a brilliant classical dancer he became when he had the chance to prove himself!  I think Irek was 30 when he came here and had a long and varied career. Ivan is only about 24 so he has plenty of time to mature and develop as a dancer.

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