NATALIA OSIPOVA: FORCES OF NATURE
January 22, 2023
Hardly a ticket was left for the one night only appearance of Natalia Osipova, a ballerina who soared to international fame while a principal Bolshoi ballerina. Later, ABT invited her to appear as a guest artist which crowned her star status in the American dance community. Now a principal with the Royal Ballet, she also tours as a solo artist.
When Osipova's appearance was announced in the fall, the program was juicily filled with ballet classics. By the time she performed at City Center arrived, the offerings were decidedly revised. Gone was Dying Swan and Don Quixote. What remained were other classical dance excerpts and a sprinkling of modern works.
The 19th century classic, Giselle opened the program on a high note. Osipova's natural buoyancy, physical strength and dramatic interpretation animated the ethereal role. Her partner, the clean-lined and elegant Marcelino Sambe drew additional ooh's and aahs.
But perhaps the surprise of the evening came when the ABT Studio collaboration featured a remarkable performance by Takumi Miyake along with the lovely, young Ukrainian ballerina Yeva Hrystsak. Miyake's whipping turns, and traveling leg beats dazzled the audience and whet their appetite for much more.
In the solo Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncanoriginally created by Frederick Ashton for Lynn Seymour, Osipova's execution was solid but lacked a grounded evanescence.
Not surprisingly, Ratmansky's Valse Triste showcased Osipova's finer qualities. It was, as if, they spoke the same balletic language thus inspiring Osipova immersion in the intricate steps, twisting turns and unusual lifts.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's Pure plumbed cushiony, flowing movement for Osipova and Kittelberger who choreographed two other works on the program: Weight of It (premiere) and Ashes.
Despite the loss of some audience favorites, Osipova proved herself capable of transforming an evening.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis