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Natalia OsipovaBolshoi dancer


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#16 Kate B

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 08:43 AM

Actually, I've just done a bit of searching and there's quite a nice gallery here of Thursday's performance.

#17 Geier

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 08:46 AM

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!!! :)

#18 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 09:50 AM

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.

#19 canbelto

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 03:54 PM

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.

#20 Ostrich

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 11:16 AM

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.

#21 cygneblanc

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 12:38 PM

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.

#22 aurora

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 12:44 PM

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).

#23 cygneblanc

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 01:34 PM

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 !

#24 aurora

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 03:21 PM

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.

#25 Mashinka

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 07:15 AM

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.

#26 Natalia

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 08:47 AM

....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. ....


You've got that right, Mashinka. Interestingly enough, those 'deranged elements' (or should it be singular?) tend to be the same person(s) who constantly prop-up The Gymnast of the Mariinsky. Coincidence? :wink:

#27 Ostrich

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 08:57 AM

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


Ballet is out-and-out sexist, I'm afraid. Why put ballerinas in tutus? Why make them dance on pointe? Why expect them to hide their powerful technique behind the air of fragility and delicacy?

I understand what previous posters mean when they remark that Alexandrova and Osipova have a "masculinity" about their dancing. That's not to say they are masculine, just not what we normally expect from ballerinas in romantic/classical ballets. In Alexandrova's case I think this comes about because of her commanding presence and maybe also because her arms aren't as long and quite as beautifully shaped as those of other Bolshoi ballerinas (although she puts them to their full use and can be surprisingly lyrical with them).

Osipova posesses a delightful girlish air, so I can only imagine it is her powerful technique and (comparatively) short/stocky figure that gives makes her more "masculine" than other ballerinas. And hey, there's nothing wrong with that! I get very tired of seeing the "dying swan" types all the time!

#28 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 09:12 AM

A very interesting discussion. I'm quite relieved to hear that Natalia Osipova just received the 2007 UK National Dance Award for her performances in London last summer, and for best "female" dancer... :wink:
UK National Dance Awards

On the side of this, it would also help if people stopped judging and criticising dancers on the strength a few crappy youtube clips or a DVD. They are interesting to a certain degree as recordings documenting a performance or a dancer, but they can never replace the live performance.

#29 kfw

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 10:13 AM

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


Ballet is out-and-out sexist, I'm afraid. Why put ballerinas in tutus? Why make them dance on pointe? Why expect them to hide their powerful technique behind the air of fragility and delicacy?

I understand what previous posters mean when they remark that Alexandrova and Osipova have a "masculinity" about their dancing. That's not to say they are masculine, just not what we normally expect from ballerinas in romantic/classical ballets.

I've seen Osipova only in Don Quixote, where masculinity is hardly the word that came to mind. But watching video clips, and looking at photographs of her in La Bayadere, I do see why some people think of her as masculine. It doesn't bother me and I don't really read her that way. I find her an attractive dancer and an attractive woman.

But I have to disagree about sexism. As you say, what we expect when we watch female dancers is what we've usually seen from female dancers -- expectations are based on experience, not sexism or a gender equal point of view. We know that women look especially pretty in tutus. And we know that men are by and large stronger physically; and that difference is a source of physical attraction for both men and women, which is why Mika Brezhinski on MSNBC can playfully pretend to strangle Joe Scarborough, and not the other way around. Relative physical fragility (or, in this case, the appearance of fragility) and delicate manners are lovely qualities in women, and so as we know the convention in ballet is for women (and to some degree for men to hide), to make dancing look easy rather than a show of strength.

It's sexist to insist that all women be this way or to take those qualities as an excuse for patriarchy, but I don't think it's sexist to have a taste for one over the other in ballet, no more than it is to prefer Martha Graham to, say, what Patricia McBride might have looked like in Graham roles.

#30 canbelto

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 10:39 AM

One part of the interview that puzzled me was Osipova saying that the Bolshoi currently does not have "Romeo and Juliet" in its repertory. Hmm? I thought the Bolshoi has always danced the Lavrovsky version.


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