Thursday, November 12, 2015

Natalia Osipova and Sergei Polunin to Unite at Sadler’s Wells By Roslyn Sulcas

LONDON — Natalia Osipova and Sergei Polunin, two of ballet’s biggest stars, will perform together in a program of new work by Russell Maliphant, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Arthur Pita at Sadler’s Wells next year. The theater announced the new partnership at a news conference on Thursday. It was the news about Ms. Osipova and Mr. Polunin that generated most excitement, however, particularly when they confirmed — after an intrepid question at the news conference — that they are a couple offstage. The Ukranian-born Mr. Polunin, who trained at the Royal Ballet School from the age of 13 and became the youngest-ever principal dancer at the Royal Ballet at 19, made headlines in 2012 when he abruptly quit the company, a year before Ms. Osipova joined it as a principal. Since then, Mr. Polunin has danced mostly with the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theater and the Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, and has been little seen in Britain. His solo performance in a video by David LaChapelle has had over 13 million hits to date. The program of new pieces, which is to be performed from June 29 to July 2 next year, will feature a duet by Mr. Maliphant for the pair, as well as “a dance prequel” to Tennessee Williams’s “A Streetcar Named Desire,” by Mr. Pita. It is not Ms. Osipova’s first foray into contemporary work; last year she performed all over the world with Ivan Vasiliev in “Solo for Two,” which included new works by both Mr. Cherkaoui and Mr. Pita. With Mr. Polunin as her translator, Ms. Osipova, who has not danced because of injury for the last few months, said that she felt it was important to tackle new styles of dance while she was still young. As well as holding a principal dancer contract with the Royal Ballet, Ms. Osipova is a regular guest artist with American Ballet Theater and at La Scala. On Tuesday, the Bolshoi Ballet announced that she will be a regular guest star over the next season. International New York Times