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.