November 5, 2015 / 2:56 PM / 3 years ago

Russian prima ballerina Osipova to dance Williams's 'Streetcar'

LONDON (Reuters) - One of the golden couples of ballet, renowned Russian ballerina Natalia Osipova and Ukrainian dancer Sergei Polunin, said on Thursday they hope their real-life romance will infuse a dance version of “A Streetcar Named Desire” to be staged in London.

Bolshoi Ballet's Natalia Osipova performs during a rehearsal for "Reflections" at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, January 26, 2011. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov

Osipova, formerly of the Bolshoi and now a principal at The Royal Ballet in London, and Polunin said they will appear in the roles of Blanche and Stanley next June in a newly choreographed dance work inspired by the Tennessee Williams play as part of the 2016 season at Sadler’s Wells.

They also confirmed longstanding speculation in the tabloid British press that they are a couple — with Polunin, when asked point blank at a press conference if they were romantically linked, responding: “Yes”.

“It’s actually a bit hard because for some reason big theaters are trying to separate us,” he said.

“But we are fighting for artists to feel the real emotion, to your partner it’s very important and the audience always feels and sees the truth.”

The dance adaptation inspired by the steamy 1947 play is to be choreographed by Arthur Pita, with whom Osipova has worked before.

The program also includes two other works choreographed especially for Osipova and will mark her first foray into contemporary dance, Sadler’s Wells said.

Polunin, translating from the Russian for Osipova, said that she thinks Blanche is “a fantastic role...she’s always wanted to do that role”.

He also said that Osipova, who had to withdraw from some ballet performances in the United States earlier this year due to injury, wanted to tackle new styles while she was still young.

“It’s important not to do it at the end of your career but at your peak,” he said, translating her comments.

The 2016 season at Sadler’s Wells, one of the premiere dance venues in Britain, also includes a performance by the French artist Bartabas that will involve four horses and a donkey on stage, a hip-hop program and a flamenco festival, plus an extensive program of modern dance.

Reporting by Michael Roddy; Editing by Louise Heavens

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