drb

Natalia Osipova

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Thank you for pointing us to those pictures and bio of Osipova, drb. We saw her in New York and she really made her mark! My daughter's friend (who went to Moscow for 2 years from our studio in Toronto) was Osipova's friend in Leonova's class -- they graduated together -- and spoke of how amazing she was. I am looking forward to watching her rise through the ranks.

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What's her rank right now ? It might be written in Russian, but I can't read it. Hopefully I'll be able to see her next time the Bolshoi comes to France, but who knows when that will be...

By the way, could anyone give a link of a web page where the whole hierarchy of the Bolshoi is given, please, if there's any ? I never found any in English, and I'd be grateful ! :huh:

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What's her rank right now ?

The Bolshoi site seems to be reworking some of its English right now. But from the summer Met program Natalia was listed as corps (as Marc said re the Russian list), the fifth ( lowest) category. She was a standout in the first variation of Act 3 Grand Pas in Don Q, and as a shephardess in Spartacus. Not to worry, though, as she was still a student in September 2003, when she was the sensation of the La Scala Gala. There, she was considered moving in a modern piece and spectacular (if "too gymnastic") in a solo from Esmeralda. One of the photos above does exhibit a rather high extension... .

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I don't think that picture will win her many fans!

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Just noticed that Natalia Osipova is scheduled to dance Kitri at the Bolshoi on November 7:

http://www.bolshoi.ru/ru/season/ballet/rep...sha&dynid26=606

Is anyone planning to attend?

Mashinka: I think I see what you mean about that photo...it isn't exactly a model of classical perfection. It was taken a short time prior to her performance in that role at the Met last summer, that I have to admit was The Peak Bolshoi Experience I had during those two weeks, despite the greatness of Masha Alexandrova. Tobi Tobias expressed my feelings with far greater articulation than I can manage. The quote from her review:

"...Now about that miracle. About two and a half hours after the curtain goes up, on comes a girl in a pale yellow tutu and dances the briefest of solos. It is composed largely of grands jetés. The girl is small and compactly built, with a look of childlike wonder about her. The jetés are incomparably light, a cross between floating and flying. There seems to be no effort behind them and no ego; they just happen. It’s one of those moments that occurs in ballet from time to time, when issues of classical technique drop out of the picture and all you see is pure dancing. One of those moments in which you understand perfectly what ballet is for or, perhaps, fall under its spell for the very first time. The dancer’s name is Natalia Osipova. She entered the company just last year."

http://www.artsjournal.com/tobias/archives...g_at_wind.shtml

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I heartily agree, drb. I loved the well-rounded, mature artistry of Alexandrova, but Osipova, faced with a different kind of challenge, took away the breath of the whole audience.

Kitri would seem to be a great choice for her first full-length role. I eagerly anticipate reviews from any of our friends in Moscow.

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It seems to be "A Star is Born" time for Natalia. She's scheduled to dance Kitri opposite new Bolshoi star Denis Matvyenko in Don Q at The Bolshoi on May 18. Then again in London, the same pairing, on August 17 (the first cast!). To top it off, she dances Aspicia, the lead in Pharoah's Daughter on August 2 (matinee). She will also dance in Ratmansky's Go for Broke (Jeu de Cartes):

http://info.royaloperahouse.org/Performing...ccs=977&cs=2587

Her Bolshoi site now includes three photos, her legendary grand jete in Cinderella and photos from Jeu de Cartes, one partnered by Andrey Bolotin:

http://www.bolshoi.ru/ru/theatre/ballet_tr...6=info&id26=269

The photo set is toward the upper right of the page. Click on photo to make it large.

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Is there any doubt now how she will fare at the 2006 Jackson IBC? All she has to do is show up. Anything less that a gold medal would be a huge disappointment.

Usually, the Bolshoi doesn't bother to send dancers to the IBCs outside of Russia unless they are 100% certain that those dancers will contend for gold. Thus, imagine the shock and horror when, in 1998, an American 'kid' (Rasta Thomas) beat the established Bolshoi principal Dmitri Belogolovtsev.

In Jackson, Osipova's major challenge will most likely come from another, less well known, Bolshoi corps member -- Anna Nikulina, who has already danced Odette-Odile at the Bolshoi but hasn't been as prominent as Osipova lately.

So Osipova is favored for gold and Nikulina for silver unless one of them has a problem in actual performance. If Japan's Misa Kuranaga still dances as I saw her at the 2002 Moscow IBC (Jr Gold), then she too will challenge Osipova, as will Natalia Domracheva (of the Ukrainian Ballet?) -- Leonid Sarafanov's petite partner in 2002, when he won the sr male gold in Moscow.

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I'm grateful to drb for quoting part of Tobi Tobias's review. Having now seen Osipova dance, I agree totally that:-

It’s one of those moments that occurs in ballet from time to time, when issues of classical technique drop out of the picture and all you see is pure dancing.

Osipova is so exceptional she appears to sit on the music somehow in those soaring jetés of hers and what I've seen of her dancing so far seems to indicate that intricate terre a terre steps are near perfectly performed. I'm a convert! :)

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...Osipova is so exceptional she appears to sit on the music somehow in those soaring jetés of hers and what I've seen of her dancing so far seems to indicate that intricate terre a terre steps are near perfectly performed. I'm a convert! :)

Now that this dancer, who was able to dominate a whole season with a 30-second solo, has had her St. Petersburg successes in Don Q and has been compared to Plisetskaya by Clement Crisp (Sunday's Links) in London, perhaps it is time to restart her thread. Have BT'ers seen any of her recent performances?

Crisp, giving her background before the beginning of his rave review:

Natalia Osipova is 20 years old. She has danced with the Bolshoi Ballet since 2003, when she graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet School. She is very pretty, dark-haired, with an enchanting smile and she has a technique no less enchanting – and brilliantissimo. Her coach/tutor (so essential for the shaping and flowering of young talent, as Russia knows, and the Royal Ballet has forgotten) is Marina Kondratieva, a memorably fine ballerina in earlier Bolshoi seasons.

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I saw her on Thursday in Don Quixote. I loved her. A lot of what's been said on this thread is very true. I was sitting way back up in the amphitheatre, but she drew me in and I couldn't take my eyes off her when she was on stage.

She just seemed to be having such a good time. So light, so young, so confident I forgot she was a ballet dancer - she was Kitri. It was the first time I'd seen Don Q and now I don't know how I can see it again and for it to be as enjoyable.

Technically she was brilliant, particularly on jumps. I longed for her to do more jumps! So light and flexible. She did some astonishing turns too, and it looked like she could turn forever.

When the performance was over I wanted her to do it all over again. It's quite a while since I felt that way after a ballet - perhaps the last time was when I saw Darcey Bussell in Pavane with Jonathon Cope about eighteen months ago, but Bussell was brilliant for different reasons - a dancer at the height of her powers, while Osipova has it all yet ahead of her.

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Clement Crisp compares Natalia Osipova's Kitri to that of Plisetskaya in the London Financial Times:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0710f3e2-3069-11db...00779e2340.html

...flashing high over the stage in a sequence of jumps that had an electric vitality, an airy bravura, that I have not seen since Maya Plisetskaya showered us with stars in this same role 40 and more years ago. And thus Osipova conquered us, won our hearts, our cheers.... Her most immediate quality is her ballon and elevation, the way in which she takes to the air, places a sequence of dance higher than we expect...

She soars, happily, effortlessly, art concealing the hard labours of the studio. She has steely points, brilliancy in pirouettes, and knows that double fouettés are more amusing than singles. And she plays Kitri with such delight in the zany matter of the drama, flashes her smile, flounces and sparkles and beguiles her lover Basilio (and us), and never falls into the vulgarity trap. It is a performance wholly winning, sublimely apt, and fired by the very fact of her youthfulness. It is this freshness of her skills, the natural and happy way in which the impossible is shown, that added such lustre to her performance. She is a rare, lovely talent.

I am so pleased that she is doing well. I was just blown away last year when the Bolshoi was here, by every step she made. I don't think I have been so struck since Ashley Bouder made her debut in La Source. She reminds me of Bouder, fearless and just bounding on top of the music. She is, as Crisp says, simply irrestistable.

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Now that this dancer, who was able to dominate a whole season with a 30-second solo,

I saw her in London the past week, dancing Kitri and the grand pas vatriation in Alexandrova DQ: she is amazing!

Her jumps are unbelivable and her turns great. She is also a lovely actress.

I look forward to see her again!!! :)

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For my money, Osipova was the revelation of this Bolshoi tour, pure and simple. Her debut in Pharaoh's Daughter was excellent; her Don Quixote was nothing short of astonishing.

I recently added a small gallery of studio shots.

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Natalia Osipova recently debuted in Giselle, and here's a rather long interview with her about her preparation for the role. It's a fascinating read.

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Thanks, a fascinating interview.

You showed a very naturalistic heart attack, and your mad scene was truly frightening…

I received four text messages during the intermission, one of them from my mother. They were all asking if I was alright.

Indeed, just seeing it on YouTube made a great impression on me.

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I saw her last week in the Corsaire, and I was quite impressed. She has grown a lot since I've discovered her as a teen during a documentary on the Bolshoi's school. She was quite frail at that time but has become a very solid dancer with an extraordinary technics. Even if her dance looks quite masculine on video, that's different on stage. Her solidity reminds me of Sylvie Guillem.

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I saw her last week in the Corsaire, and I was quite impressed...Even if her dance looks quite masculine on video, that's different on stage. Her solidity reminds me of Sylvie Guillem.

I've only watched her on video (so I'm very envious of you!), but just wanted to say thats a comment (usually phrased as a criticism, though you aren't really doing so) that I see repeated about her often, but don't actually see.

Yes she jumps higher than just about any woman, so perhaps thats "masculine", but otherwise I don't see much at all "masculine" about her style.

The same is not true about Alexandrova who does strike me as such, though I'm not particularly sure why.

I know you were comparing her to Guillem as to her solidity (a comparison that hadn't really occurred to me, but I can see where you are coming from), but i see Osipova as possessing much more joy in her movement than Guillem seemed to express (I have seen her live, but only rarely).

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Well, actually I just wanted to point that her dance doesn't look masculine at all on stage although to my mind it was on a video (the same you saw I guess). I wasn't expecting to see what I saw live, so it was a really nice suprise !

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Well, actually I just wanted to point that her dance doesn't look masculine at all on stage although to my mind it was on a video (the same you saw I guess). I wasn't expecting to see what I saw live, so it was a really nice suprise !

I know--sorry if it made it sound like you were saying otherwise. :wink:

I just hear that said alot (how masculine she is) and wanted to respond to that.

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Why is strong technique and physical strength in a female dancer somehow deemed to be 'masculine'? Frankly I find that rather a sexist assumption.

Having seen both Osipova and Alexandrova on stage many times I have never detected anything masculine in either. This line of criticism about these two dancers originates from what I consider the 'deranged elements' that post on the mainly unmoderated Russian language forums. Personally I don't see a powerful technique as unfeminine.

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