Hallberg and Osipova in Ratmansky's Valse Triste. Johan Persson, Courtesy New York City Center.

Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg Reunite in Pure Dance

In recent years, Royal Ballet principal and international touring artist Natalia Osipova has curated her own evenings of new works, collaborating with a slew of contemporary choreographers. The newest of these is Pure Dance, which premiered last September at Sadler's Wells and comes to New York City Center April 3–6. "I really like to try new things," she told the Financial Times last year. "There is something in my personality that makes me want to start new projects."



Pure Dance consists of four works, danced with three different partners: Jason Kittelberger, a veteran of Cedar Lake and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui; Jonathan Goddard, of Richard Alston and Scottish Dance Theatre; and her longtime partner from her time at American Ballet Theatre, David Hallberg. She and Hallberg, in particular, have a unique chemistry. "We really are fire and water," says Hallberg. "She's this absolute externalized force and I'm internalized. That's what makes our partnership so special. We don't have to add anything onto the energy we get from each other."

Osipova and Hallberg in Tudor's Leaves are Fading

Johan Persson, Courtesy NYCC

Osipova commissioned a pas de deux for the two of them from the choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, with whom she also has a long history. His Valse Triste, with music by Jean Sibelius, captures a facet of Osipova and Hallberg's relationship—her irrepressible dynamism, his vulnerability and boyishness. The pair also dance a pas de deux from Antony Tudor's wistful 1975 ballet The Leaves Are Fading.

The other works on the program—by Roy Assaf and Iván Pérez—are more contemporary in feel and technique. Osipova likes to mix things up. As she said last year, "A lot of people in ballet are quite condescending towards other forms of dance…I don't see it that way at all."

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi Everyone,

These are challenging times. The social distancing measures brought about by COVID-19 has likely meant that your regular ballet training has been interrupted, while your performances, competitions—even auditions—have been cancelled. You may be feeling anxious about what the future holds, not only for you but for the dance industry. And that's perfectly understandable.

As you adjust to taking virtual ballet class from your living rooms, we here at Pointe are adjusting to working remotely from our living rooms. We've had to get a little creative, especially as we put our Summer Issue together, but like you we're taking full advantage of modern technology. Sure, it's a little inconvenient sometimes, but we're finding our groove.

And we know that you will, too. We've been utterly inspired by how the dance community has rallied together, from ballet stars giving online classes to companies streaming their performances to the flood of artist resources popping up. We've loved watching you dance from your kitchens. And we want to help keep this spirit alive. That's why Pointe and all of our Dance Media sister publications are working nonstop to produce and cross-post stories to help you navigate this crisis. We're all in this together.

We also want to hear from you! Send us a message on social media, or email me directly at abrandt@dancemedia.com. Tell us how you're doing, send us your ideas and show us your dance moves. Let the collective love we share for our beloved art form spark the light at the end of the tunnel—we will come out the other side soon enough.

Best wishes,

Amy