In everything she tackles, Natalia Osipova, a current principal with The Royal Ballet, seems to jump higher and turn faster than other any ballerina. It's almost impossible to watch her dance without letting out a gasp. Her performance as Medora in Le Corsaire's Grand Pas des Éventails from early in her career at the Bolshoi Ballet is no exception. In this clip of the variation and coda, Osipova soars with boundless virtuosity.
From her first diagonal passage, Osipova devours the space on the stage, levitating in ballottés that hang in the air above her onlookers' heads. Her leg shoots back into an arabesque and then sweeps into a radiant balance in attitude dévant. As she flits lightly in linking waltzes, it's clear that she has a different relationship with gravity than most. At 2:25, when Osipova returns for the coda (which also features a young Ekaterina Krysanova as Gulnare), she bursts into partnered saut de chats, lifted high by by her cavalier, Ruslan Skvortsov. For her final fouettés, her stunning sense of center makes it seem she could go on infinitely spinning. Happy #ThrowbackThursday.