Spotlight Saturday: Natalia Osipova

This week's Spotlight Saturday focuses on Russian prima ballerina Natalia Osipova.

As Kitri in 'Don Quixote'

Natalia Petrovna Osipova was born 18 May 1986 in Moscow, Russia. At the age of 8, she began training at the Mikhail Lavrovsky School of Ballet before moving to the Moscow State Academy of Choreography, where she trained under Marina Kotova and Marina Leonova.

As Swanhilda in the Bolshoi's reconstruction of 'Coppelia'

Upon graduation in 2004, she joined the corps de ballet of the Bolshoi Ballet at the age of 18. Her career as a soloist was launched in 2005, when she performed Kitri in Don Quixote with great success. She was officially promoted to soloist the following year. In 2007, she was named one of the '25 to Watch' by Dance Magazine, and was awarded the Prix Benois de la Danse in 2009.

In 'Flames of Paris' with Ivan Vasiliev

That same year, she was promoted to leading soloist, followed by principal in 2010. Shortly afterwards, she resigned from the company, citing 'artistic freedom' as her reason for leaving. Instead she joined American Ballet Theatre as a guest artist, performing Don Quixote with Jose Manuel Carreno, and The Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet with David Hallberg. Shortly before her appearance in The Sleeping Beauty, she was mugged outside the Met; she suffered only minor bruises and the loss of a pair of pointe shoes, and was able to perform.

In 'Giselle' with Steven McRae

In December 2011, she joined the Mikhailovsky Ballet, before moving to the Royal Ballet in 2013 as a principal dancer. She had previously guest starred in Swan Lake with the company. She debuted with the company on 21 November 2013, with Carlos Acosta in Romeo and Juliet. She has cited the broader repertoire as her reason for the move, and remains with the company at the present time.

As Lise in 'La Fille Mal Gardee'

Among numerous other roles, she has created the lead role in Ratmansky's The Firebird (with American Ballet Theatre 2012), and in Kenneth MacMillan's Anastasia (with the Royal Ballet). She is considered on of the best ballerinas of the current era.

In 'Giselle'

Here she is with Sergei Polunin in Run Mary, Run:

As Swanhilda in Act III of Coppelia:

And rehearsing Anastasia (courtesy of last year's World Ballet Day):

Thanks for reading!

- Selene

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