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Osipova to join The Royal Ballet

Posted on April 10, 2013

osipova in giselle by frederika davis

osipova-in-giselle-by-frederika-davisNatalia Osipova, one of ballet’s biggest stars, will join The Royal Ballet as a principal dancer next season. Her first performances will be as Juliet in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, where she will be partnered by Carlos Acosta.


Osipova, whose recent performances with the Mikhailovsky Ballet had a sensational reception in London, started her career at the Bolshoi Ballet in 2004. She moved to the Mikhailovsky Ballet, with her partner Ivan Vasiliev, in 2011. She is also a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, and is expected to continue dancing with ABT and the Mikhailovsky, as well as The Royal Ballet. Unlike Acosta, who is credited as “principal guest artist” with The Royal Ballet, Osipova will be a full member of the company.


Kevin O’Hare, director of The Royal Ballet, said: “I’m delighted that Natalia will be joining us next season and look forward to seeing her take on a full range of the company’s heritage and modern repertory. She greatly enjoyed her guest performances with the company as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake with Carlos earlier this season and she is looking forward to becoming a full member of the company in the autumn. She is a wonderful addition to our world class roster of principals.”


In an interview with Russian newspaper The Kommersant Daily [], Osipova said that working for The Royal Ballet “is my desire and I want it with all my soul”. She said that her decision was based on repertoire, but also praised the clarity of British business arrangements: “In Britain all promises and conditions are put down on paper – and not like what happens in Russia where everything is words.”


Picture: Natalia Osipova in the Mikhailovsky Ballet’s production of Giselle. Photograph: Frederika Davis

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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