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The Ins and Outs of Natalia Osipova’s Joining the Royal Ballet

As everyone has heard by now, Natalia Osipova has joined the Royal Ballet as a principal artist. She’ll be splitting her time between that company, American Ballet Theatre, and the Mikhailovsky (as well as a million other freelance gigs, I’m sure). Here is an interesting piece by Ismene Brown of the Arts Desk on the ins-and-outs of the deal.

Here’s a short excerpt:

“Kommersant reports that ABT’s director Kevin McKenzie has reacted with anger to the news of her Royal Ballet contract…..Her agent told Kuznetsova, ‘I did managed to discuss the new situation with Kevin McKenzie, and he did not hide his frustration, as the spring season in London coincides with New York, but this is a new reality that will have to be dealt with somehow. It is difficult to say how it will be settled, but the fact remains that there are conflicting interests, and we will hope for the wisdom of the leaders of the two companies to settle it.'”

Her frequent partner, Ivan Vasiliev, is not part of the deal; he’ll continue as a principal at ABT and at the Mikhailovsky and, one assumes, a frequent visitor at the Royal Ballet as well.

Lil Buck at Le Poisson Rouge (for DanceTabs)

Lil Buck and Yo Yo Ma at Le Poisson Rouge. Photo by Erin Baiano.
Lil Buck and Yo Yo Ma at Le Poisson Rouge. Photo by Erin Baiano.

Here’s my review of Lil Buck, a young dancer specializing in a kind of hip-hop dance from Memphis known as Jookin’. He performed at the downtown spot Le Poisson rouge with an eclectic cast of musicians, including Yo Yo Ma, the quartet Brooklyn Rider, and the jazz trumpeter Marcus Printup. He’s a remarkably musical dancer. I reviewed the performance for DanceTabs.

And here’s a short excerpt:

“One of the immediately impressive aspects of Jookin’ technique is the fact that the impulse behind the footwork is concealed, so there seems to be no weight at all on the feet; the dancer propels himself in any direction with a kind of liquid, uninterrupted pas de bourrée, a series of tiny, braided steps. This unbroken continuity of motion is made possible by extremely flexible and controlled ankles, which undulate as the dancers create figure eights with their feet.”