Royal Opera Ballet
Covent Gardens via
Thorton Place Cinemas/Northgate
The story of Giselle. Hands down one of my favorite ballets of all time. The innocent village girl Giselle, who falls in love with the deceptive Albrecht - who is a young nobleman disguised as a peasant. The ballet itself drips with the pain of heartache and the beauty of forgiveness. It was my first time experiencing not only the Royal Ballet - but the breathtaking talent and emotions of Natalia Osipova.
Partnering with the legendary Carlos Acosta - Natalia, 3 months new to the Royal Ballet - clearly stole the show.
Her emotions we powerful and raw, coupled with technique that blew the mind of everyone in the audience, both live and in the theater I was in. Just when you think she touched the ceiling of her abilities, she would reach a new height 5 minutes later.
The event was the ROH LIVE Cinema series. A former dance teacher of my daughters (who is a 17 yr old dancer at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School) messaged me earlier in the day asking if we were going. Knowing nothing of the viewing or the series - I quickly did research and was delighted to find that its a monthly event, all over the country! The viewing isn't LIVE, its preempted so we could see it at a decent hour, if that makes sense - but its from the day of the show. Such a lovely experience, with an intermission (complete with a static camera shot in the audience) and interviews with the choreographer and artistic director. At one point even showed a candid of audience members sneaking a snack (obviously not allowed) and dropping their candy ha! Was pretty humorous!
Back to the dancing. As I said, I attended with my daughter who is a dancer, and ended up sitting next to another former teacher, arguably one of the most respected teachers in Seattle and a former member of the Martha Graham company, dancing with Graham herself, so the exclamations and gasps were from fellow dancers, which is how I (being a NON dancer) knew they were valid :)
Natalia Osipova is a beast. Her ability to show strength, flawless technique while showing a level of emotion and frailty - had us all in tears and left us speechless. I often felt like her sheer will to push the limits of perfection was mesmerizing. The strength put into some of her turns and jumps and then land them like sinking into quick sand, quietly and fluidly.
It is clear the Royal Ballet is filled with amazing talent, but they all faded into the abyss with the Wilis it seemed, as Osipova danced circles around our hearts and our brains.
I often have questions for my daughter when we see shows such as these - as far as what I think seemed "Amazing" to what she says actually WAS amazing - based on the art of ballet and what is more difficult to do etc. The following variation from Act I made my daughter jump to the edge of her seat, gasp and cover her mouth with shock and awe. "Mom, what she just did there, is hard to do for anyone, and to make it look as easy and beautiful as she just did, is near impossible!" :
Not enough words can be said about Natalia's level of emotion that at times was almost palatable. She had played this role before with the Bolshoi ballet, so the experience was there. Her seasoned experience was mixed with small pieces of her own heart that she was cutting out and leaving all over the stage there in Covent Garden.
A huge success for Kevin O'Hare and his company and a great new event on our calendar now thanks to the Royal Opera House!
Such a great idea and wonderful opportunity for lovers of dance - that is clearly not promoted well and or underutilized. There were less 30 people in the theater and I could name about 20 who would have come to something like this in a heart beat. Lets change that - because their schedule for upcoming premiers is gigantic: I was SO excited to mark my calendar for April 28th - when they PREMIER the full length of The Winter's Tale by Christopher Wheeldon at the Live Cinema. Visit the website to see what else is coming up as well as to sign up for their text updates.