The Royal Ballet has secured one of Russia’s “superstar” ballerinas, with the appointment of Natalia Osipova to join the company.
Osipova has wowed audiences in London at the Coliseum in recent weeks, dancing with the visiting Mikahilovsky Ballet where she is currently a principal.
The news that she would return to London in a more permanent basis in the coming 2013/14 season at Covent Garden, left many dance experts thrilled.
Her first performance will be the female lead in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet opposite Carlos Acosta.
Kevin O’Hare, director of the Royal Ballet said he looked “forward to seeing her take on a full range of the company’s heritage and modern repertory”.
He added the 26-year-old dancer had “greatly enjoyed her guest performances” with the company in Swan Lake in October and was a “wonderful addition to our world class roster of principals”.
Osipova, who was born in Moscow, attended the Mikhail Lavrosky Ballet School and then the Moscow State Academy of Choreography.
She became a member of the corps de ballet at the Bolshoi Ballet after graduating and danced the lead role of Kitri in Don Quixote just a year later.
Her promotion to principal dancer with the Bolshoi came in 2010, but she shocked the company a year later when she left to take up the equivalent role at the Mikhailovsky. She is also a principal with the American Ballet Theatre. A source close to the Royal Ballet called her a “superstar”.
Covent Garden has not brought in Osipova’s off stage partner Ivan Vasiliev, who was dancing opposite her at the Coliseum.
She will still perform as part of a deal with Sergei Danilyan over freelance performances and will also perform in London this summer alongside Vasiliev for Bolshoi.