Natalia Osipova – Pure Dance at Sadler’s Wells
An intriguing, eclectic series of dance vignettes, Natalia Osipova – Pure Dance at Saddler’s Wells Theatre showcases the artist’s brilliant form and technique in both traditional and contemporary ballet.
Of the six performances, four are premiere showings that have been recently created and commissioned. Antony Tudor’s The Leaves Are Fading, written in 1975, is a delicate, melancholic pas de deux – featuring Osipova with long-term dance partner David Hallberg – about the passage of time and former love. In contrast, Ivan Perez’s new work Flutter (Osipova, Jonathan Goddard) portrays daring exploration, an expressive, dynamic venturing into the unknown.
Pondering the relationship between past and present, Amir Kliger’s Six Years Later (2011), with Osipova and Jason Kittelberger, is a compelling exposé of modern ballet. An exquisite new short piece danced to the music of Jean Sibelius, the notable Alexei Ratmansky’s Valse Triste (Osipova, Hallberg) moves and inspires. Two premiering solos artfully complete the programme: the stirring In Absentia by Kim Brandstrup, danced by Hallberg, and Yuka Oishi’s innovative Ava Maria as a finale with Osipova.
As a dancer, the star is charismatic, technically exceptional and courageous, with a passion, flexibility and buoyancy of movement – possibly influenced by her training as a gymnast combined with an interest in the cutting edge – that deliver a special grace, energy and boldness of spirit to every role.
Choreography by Kim Brandstrup is superb, realised via top-notch performances. Together, Osipova and David Hallberg have a special chemistry and work beautifully in duet. The latter’s remarkable, athletic and flawless execution dazzles, and the two in unison form an impressive synergy. Jonathan Goddard is incandescent; that he is also a choreographer may explain his seamless exactitude of movement, and Jason Kittelberger’s powerful dancing brings an effective tension to his duo with the prima ballerina.
Varied and evocative costuming complements a simple stage set in which magnificent lighting dominates. The sound is diverse and excellent, including chamber music, vibrant contemporary compositions, a Beethoven sonata, a waltz and a rendition of Ava Maria.
A charming, ingenious, well-coordinated production with star performers and tremendous appeal for both classical and modern ballet aficionados, Pure Dance is thought-provoking and compelling in its originality and a joy to watch.
Photo: Johan Persson
Natalia Osipova – Pure Dance is at Sadler’s Wells from 12th September until 16th September 2018. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch the trailer for Natalia Osipova – Pure Dance here: