Natalia Osipova and Sergei Polunin in Run Mary Run; photo by Bill Cooper
“This project is important for me. It is my dream. This is how I want to express my personality.” That’s how Natalia Osipova describes her determination to commission Natalia Osipova & Artists, a program of contemporary dance that opens at City Center tonight after premiering at Sadler’s Wells in June.
To fling herself so whole-heartedly into contemporary work is an unusual decision for a ballerina to make while she is still at the absolute peak of her classical career. Sylvie Guillem may have blazed the trail, but that was at a point when she knew her Sleeping Beauties and Swan Lakes were numbered. Osipova, on the other hand, is taking this path at the age of 29—when she is simultaneously climbing the pinnacles of traditional technique. “To mix classical and contemporary. That is my wish,” she says.