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Natalia Osipova: Pure Dance - Sadler's Wells

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING performances in New York, Lyon and Sydney, and its world premiere at Sadler’s Wells in 2018, Natalia Osipova’s Pure Dance returns from Tuesday, October 22 to Saturday, October 26, 2019.

Produced by Sadler’s Wells, and commissioned for the theatre’s 20th anniversary, Pure Dance is a hand-picked programme of dance works exploring both contemporary and classical ballet repertoire rarely seen in the UK.

Just announced, the eclectic programme includes a new duet, Left Behind, choreographed by Jason Kittelberger and danced by Osipova and Kittelberger. Inspired by the emotional quality of its Rachmaninov soundtrack, the duet explores the notion that a person’s effect on a life can never fully be understood until that person is gone.

Kittelberger also appears alongside Osipova in Israeli choreographer Roy Assaf’s Six Years Later – now extended for this year’s programme.

The programme includes an original solo for Osipova created by Yuka Oishi, Ave Maria, following Oishi’s win of the Rolf Mares Prize for Outstanding Creation of the Year alongside Orkan Dann in 2012. Special guest, American Ballet Theatre Principal David Hallberg, performs a specially-commissioned solo In Absentia, choreographed by Olivier Award-winner Kim Brandstrup.

Osipova and Hallberg perform two duets over the course of the evening, including a pas de deux from Antony Tudor’s The Leaves Are Fading, one of the last works by the British choreographer; as well as Valse Triste, a new commission by artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre, Alexei Ratmansky.

Jonathan Goddard completes the company, joining Osipova in Flutter, choreographed by Rose D’Or and Golden Prague award-winner (for BalletBoyz’ Young Men) Iván Pérez, set to music by Nico Muhly.

Natalia Osipova is a Principal of The Royal Ballet. She joined the company as a Principal in autumn 2013, after appearing as a Guest Artist the previous season as Odette/Odile (Swan Lake) with Carlos Acosta. Her roles with the company include Giselle, Kitri (Don Quixote), Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker), Lise (La Fille mal gardée), Titania (The Dream), Juliet, Tatiana (Onegin) and Manon, Natalia Petrovna (A Month in the Country).

From 1995 to 2004 she trained at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography and on graduating entered the corps of the Bolshoi Ballet, where she was promoted to principal in 2010. In 2011 she left the Bolshoi to join the Mikhailovsky Ballet as a Principal.

Osipova’s awards include Golden Masks for her performances in Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room (2008) and La Sylphide (2009), Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards (Best Female Dancer, 2007 and 2010) and a Benois de la Danse Award (Best Female Dancer, 2008).

Pure Dance is a Sadler’s Wells production, co-produced with New York City Center.

Tickets: £15 – £85. To book, call the ticket office on 020 7863 8000 or visit

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 2:30pm.

Also at Sadler’s Wells: Matthew Bourne’s double Olivier Award-winning production of The Red Shoes (December 3, 2019 to January 19, 2020).