Solo for Two Superstars

Globetrotting superstars Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev are at it again. For Pointe's bi-weekly e-newsletter, we spoke with the pair in a joint interview via e-mail as they put the final touches on their new program, Solo for Two. The daring triple bill, which features work by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Ohad Naharin and Arthur Pita, premieres at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA, July 25-27

Why did you decide to work together on this project?

NO & IV: In 2011, we discussed the possibility of creating a special project. We'd been together as partners both onstage and in life. A lot of changes have occurred since then, but we never thought of changing the format--we believe it's made us even closer. The title has great significance to us: Solo for Two. What could be better?

 

Ivan Vasiliev (top left) and Natalia Osipova

(top right) in rehearsal with Arthur Pita for
Solo for Two. Photos by Doug Gifford.


 How is the program broadening your palates? 

NO & IV: We definitely feel that this project reveals new sides of us as dancers, even though we each have different previous experiences working with contemporary choreographers.

NO: I have danced with Mats Ek, Forsythe, McGregor, Bigonzetti, Duato, and each has been an amazing opportunity for artistic growth.

IV: I've had a bit less interaction with contemporary choreographers, but I'm always eager to venture into new experiences and challenges.


How did you choose the ballets and choreographers for Solo for Two?

NO & IV: We decided we needed to focus on more contemporary, even modern styles, and here we are--Larbi, Ohad, and Arthur are a dream team for us.

  

What was it like stepping into Naharin's Gaga style?

NO: Ohad has been a dream for me for at least the last six years. When Ivan saw video of Ohad's works, he too fell in love with it. But only in Tel Aviv did we both realize how difficult his style is. 

NO & IV: Ohad insisted we come to Tel Aviv and take classes with his company. We had never seen Gaga classes, and for us it was something that, as mainly classical dancers, we probably never would have tried.

 

How much time did you get to spend with each choreographer?

NO & IV: One month. Rehearsals took place in Milan, London, Tel Aviv, Brussels and Antwerp, with our final rehearsals now in Costa Mesa at the Segerstrom Center.


What has this experience taught you?

NO & IV: It's good to be open-minded, and not to be afraid to take risks.

 

Check out Pointe's December/January issue for exclusive rehearsal photos and to hear more from Osipova and Vasiliev! For even more interviews, tips, audition info and giveaways, sign up for our FREE e-newsletter.

Latest Posts


Courtesy ABC

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alicia Mae Holloway Talks About Her Time on ABC's “The Bachelor”

Bunheads tuning in to the season premiere of ABC's "The Bachelor" on January 4 may have recognized a familiar face: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alicia Mae Holloway, literally bourréeing out of a limousine to greet bachelor Matt James. While Holloway unfortunately didn't get a rose that night, she did thoroughly enjoy being the long-running reality franchise's first professional-ballerina contestant, as she told Pointe in a recent Zoom call.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Carla Fracci and Stephen Jefferies in "La Esmeralda" (1987)

Carla Fracci, a former principal dancer of La Scala Ballet in Milan, is among the rare class of ballerinas who continued to perform into her 50s and beyond. Romantic ballets were her calling card throughout her career. In 1987, when Fracci was 51, she was featured in a television special, dancing reconstructed 19th-century ballets in the style of historical ballerinas. In this clip of La Esmeralda from the program, Fracci and her partner Stephen Jefferies, a former principal at The Royal Ballet, deliver an extraordinary performance, capturing the verve and spirit of their characters.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Ask Amy: How Can I Make the Most of Performance Opportunities in a Pandemic?

My school is connected to a professional company that operates on a show-to-show basis. Students can audition for company performances when they're 15. My 15th birthday is in February, and I think that our directors are choosing people to participate in virtual performances based off of whether they have performed with the company before. This was supposed to be my big first year with the company, but COVID-19 has changed that. How do I make it known that I want to participate? Do you think I should wait until things are more normal? —Lila
Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks