Natalia Osipova, legendary principal artist with the Royal Ballet, was recently ranked among the dozen greatest female dancers of all time. There’s little doubt that in future years audiences will boast of seeing Osipova perform live, as they do today of Margot Fonteyn or Sylvie Guillem.
Audiences witness the spectacular confluence of her genius with that of Australian dance legend, Meryl Tankard. In a pioneering career, Two Feet is one of Tankard’s signature works. First presented in 1988 at the World Expo, followed by acclaimed Australian and international seasons, Tankard herself performed the demanding solo role that she created from her own experiences training as a dancer and those of Olga Spessivtzeva, the Russian ballerina driven insane by perfectionism. Olga’s preoccupation with the role of Giselle led her to become, like her character, a prisoner of the dance.
Now, the work is being recreated for Natalia Osipova. A tour-de-force for the performer, who better could reimagine it than a Russian prima ballerina whose own Giselle has been compared to that of her tragic precursor? Complete with a ravishing visual landscape (including Regis Lansac’s stunning projections) and a story of vivid emotional depth, Two Feet is one of the most significant works ever created by Tankard.
“Her technique (is) stratospheric, her acting blazingly committed … no dancer was more exciting than Ms. Osipova – Natalia Osipova in American Ballet Theater’s Giselle.”
“Two Feet [...] is stark, tragic, dangerous and beautiful. [...] Always a remarkable achievement by Meryl Tankard, as dancer-creator, and she’s refashioned it beyond imagining through this partnership with the marvellous Natalia Osipova. It was the first event of the Festival to put up “sold out” signs, but you should still try – there’s always someone who foolishly doesn’t turn up. ✭✭✭✭✭”