As the explosively powerful dancer makes the leap into film, she talks about feeling bloodied and bruised by her latest work and how loving her dogs helps her perform
Natalia Osipova was standing in a queue at Moscow airport recently, waiting for her flight back to London, when she overheard a woman mention her name. She was talking about the show, says Osipova, who had just finished performing The Mother, a contemporary dance drama. The woman said, She could have danced another classical ballet. Why is she spending her time on this? Osipova sighs. I felt quite vulnerable. Why am I not understood?
Some of her fans might not be ready to accompany the Russian ballerina on her odyssey into experimental dance, but Osipova is an artist who trusts her instincts: from her 2001 decision to walk out of one of the worlds most prestigious ballet companies, the Bolshoi, in favour of a second-tier institution, the Mikhailovsky Theatre, to launching a parallel career in contemporary dance while still one of the top classical ballerinas.
Now a principal with the Royal Ballet, and boasting a nonstop freelance schedule on the side, Osipova is a powerful dancer of explosive jumps and dramatic intensity. Her passion and self-belief give the title to Force of Nature Natalia, a new documentary by director Gerry Fox that follows Osipova as she rehearses for three shows: La Bayadre at the Royal Ballet; The Mother, Arthur Pitas dark retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen story; and a new duet created with dancer and Osipovas fiance Jason Kittelberger, more of whom later.
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