Internationally acclaimed ballerina Natalia Osipova takes to the Sadler’s Wells stage in a tumultuous triple bill.
Ballerina Natalia Osipova has garnered an international reputation as a classical dancer, with famed roles in Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. While many would find that sufficient, Osipova is developing her range and creativity by moving into the world of contemporary dance with the help of three bold choreographers.
The first piece, Run Mary Run, is choreographed by Arthur Pita and portrays a much-clichéd narrative of good girl/bad boy and their tragic relationship. Osipova dances opposite Sergei Polunin, dragging him out of the soil to elope for a doomed affair. It’s like Grease with a drugs overdose – a good girl begins dating a bad boy, is corrupted by him through drink and cigarettes, and then he moves onto drugs. The story is tired, the set design plays little role and the lighting is rather poor. Osipova’s dancing, however, is infallible.
Qutb is an exceptional piece of work, choreographed by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Further developing his signature style of intimacy and interplay, the second performance shows a polyamorous interdependence of choreography. There is a reliance between the dancers – Osipova, Jason Kittelberger and James O’Hara – which show their absolute trust in each other; and the audience feels as though they are privy to moments of unabashed intimacy. It is an almost sanctified performance.
Russell Maliphant’s choreographed piece Silent Echo shows Oispova opposite Polunin again. There is a really beautiful suspension of their movements and Osipova spins across the stage with such apparent ease. The choreography lacked a sense of cohesion but did allow the ballerina to showcase her abilities efficaciously. Sadly, the dimmed lighting hid a good deal of the talent.
While two of the pieces from the triple bill left the audience in want, Cherkaoui’s piece is a highlight of truly beautiful choreography. Throughout the triple bill, Osipova delivers each move with conviction, precision and passion and that, in itself, is a wonderful thing to behold. And perhaps the most poignant thing about the whole performance set is seeing a respected and reputed creative, challenging and pushing herself into a new way of expression.