Natalia Osipova Talks Giselle

January 20, 2014

When Natalia Osipova takes the stage in Giselle, she makes the ballet feel almost supernatural: In Act I, she transforms herself into a feisty but tragic peasant girl you can’t take your eyes off of; in Act II, her jumps seem to defy the laws of gravity. As Zoe Anderson of London’s The Independent puts it, “Natalia Osipova’s Giselle is the most radical I’ve ever seen…her dramatic intelligence brings to it such fresh, burning life.”


The Royal Ballet Cinema Series will be broadcasting Osipova’s debut performance opposite Carlos Acosta in the ballet next Monday, January 27 at 7 pm local time. Dance Magazine checked in with Osipova (with translation help from her fellow dancer, Andrej Uspenski) about the role, her partner and the cameras.

What’s the most challenging part of dancing Giselle?

Having the right motivation. In Act I, it looks most natural if you don’t perform, you just have the feeling—especially when it comes to partnering with Albrecht.


Has your interpretation evolved over time?

It all depends on the way I am feeling. I could plan to perform it one way, but when I am on stage, I might do something completely different. And of course the role grows as you do.


What’s it like to partner with Carlos Acosta?

He’s a legendary artist and I feel really privileged to dance with him. I did Swan Lake with him as a guest ballerina a year ago, then we did Romeo and Juliet as my first performance with The Royal and now we are doing Giselle. And every time we understand each other more and more. You have to feel the person and that’s when the partnership grows. We can’t speak each other’s languages so we don’t talk, we have to feel it with our souls.

Does your performance change when it’s being filmed for movie theaters?

Each time I’m in a performance that’s filmed, I put on less and less make up.