I've just watched clips from recent performances of Kitri Don Q, Flames of Paris, Corsaire, and the "Spanish Bride" in Swan Lake, Act III. Wow! In this rep, anyway, consider me a big fan.
Back at the start of this thread, Mashinka posted a comment written by Tobi Tobias:
I'm grateful to drb for quoting part of Tobi Tobias's review. Having now seen Osipova dance, I agree totally that:-
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!
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.
That seems right on target to me.
As for the masculine-feminine issue. Just look at her explosive entrance during Kitri's variation, the rocket speed, the swagger, the hands on hips, the recklessness -- all supported by technique. I find nothing exclusively masculine in this. Theater and film have often given us minxes, hoydens, sweet girls who can beat the boys at their own game. It's a stock character in 30s Hollywood romantic comedies. Nor is the effect particularly "athletic," although extraordinary athleticism is at play.
In a few minutes she creates the outline of a marvellous character and tells the audience that she is a miraculous jumper, turner, and charmer. I may be missing something, but I did't notice anything forced or incorrect in the technique either. In fact she seems to be one of those dancers who can pick up the tempo without creating the impression of fuzziness in the details. That in itself is a rare gift.
Incidentally, here's a bit from an interview for Marc Haegeman printed in the Summer 2007 issue of Dance Now
, It's relevant to the masculine-femine issue.
MH: Are there dancers you particularly admire or who serve as models for you?
NO: Models, not really. They there are many dancers I like and from whom I try to pick up certain things -- ballerinas, but also male dancers. It may sound strange but I adore Rudolf Nureyev. I have seen lots of films and read several biographies of him. The way he used to enter the stage is so impressive. ...
She also mentions that she has danced the 3rd movement of Balanchine's Symphony in C
. The dancer I remember in this is Merrill Ashley. I'd love to see Osipova tackling this particular Balanchine.