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She has a lot of heart and a great deal of talent. I have to love her for this.

The entire evening had ‘class.’ She and David Hallberg are as fine as it gets. Jonathan Goddard and Jason Kittelberger fit in perfectly as her two other partners. Many elements of almost all the works were excellent. I was able to enjoy it more than in any of her previous attempts.

There were six works — “The Leaves are Fading” (Anthony Tudor), “Flutter” (Ivan Perez), “In Absentia” (Kim Brandstrup), “Six Years Later” (Roy Assaf), “Valse Triste” (Alexei Ratmansky) and “Ave Maria” (Yuka Oishi). The evening lasted about an hour and a half with an approximately twenty minute intermission.

The work that I perhaps liked the most was Alexei Ratmansky’s “Valse Triste.” I didn’t find it particularly “triste” (sad) at all. It was a very brief work that I wish had been much longer. It was an elegantly expressive Spanish theme dance with Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg. Where in thin air he got it from and how he playfully and brilliantly presented it showed Alexei Ratmansky at his best.   

David Hallberg danced with her twice, “The Leave are Fading” and “Valse Triste”, and did a solo, “In Absentia.” The solo may have actually been my favorite performance of the evening  because it was very well accomplished, soulful and meaningful. Having read about both these artists and their desires over the years this seemed to be a very sympathetic expression of where he’s at and where he wants to be. It was presented in the way that he’s famous for, high art dancing, and I could sympathize with it and him completely. He should perhaps try more of this.

Natalia Osipova may have attempted the same thing in her solo, the lyrically modern, “Ave Maria.” I’m not sure how she was relating to the obvious religious implications, but she made it so personal, remarkably expressive and extremely well performed that you had to embrace her. Sometimes it felt like she was reaching out to the audience, rather than heaven, and this I appreciated very much. At the very end as the lights faded and I’m sure not meant to be seen, she quickly wiped her forehead and pushed her hair back. This was the most real moment and the most telling. She had done her performance and now she was once again herself, as noble and lovable as can be.

Edited by Buddy
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Thanks for this report. (I won't get to see this when it's brought to the States but I would love to have done so....)

I think it's rather fascinating that Osipova wanted to dance Tudor--she gave an interview where she spoke about admiring his choreography--and find myself wondering how she even came to know much about Tudor beyond the name.

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After the Giselle that he was forced to abandon half way, this was a chance for me to see what the Osipova/Hallberg partnership actually looks like and I have to say they suit each other very well.  Osipova has an almost impetuous  element to her dancing that contrasts well with Hallberg, a cool dude by comparison.  Since Acosta left the RB Osipova has danced with a variety of partners with varying degrees of success, I see no reason why Hallberg shouldn't partner her at the RB in the future as this is a partnership that deserves to be nurtured.

As far as the programme goes, I had a few reservations about a couple of items, but they all showed off Osipova's versatility very well, the piece by Ratmansky was the audience's favourite judging by the volume of well deserved applause it received.  A well balanced evening and a pleasure to see some Tudor danced in London again at long last.

 

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