on 16 February 2014
I appreciate that the previous reviewer had some concerns re the quality of the photographs as he/she obviously was a professional photographer. I speak from a dance lover's perspective as I was simply very happy to see a book of photographs of Osipova. For me the book achieved what I'd hoped for....photos of the dancer in rehearsal, backstage and in performance. She is still so young and this is a book which will continue to be interesting as her career progresses.
I think that the photos are beautiful and have an intimacy that only a fellow dancer could find.
I thoroughly recommend this book
on 12 October 2015
I recently saw Osipova in a streamed version of Swan Lake and was spell-bound by the elasticity of her arms and apparently boneless body. Under her fragile vulnerability lies a powerful determination and hidden strength. Taking her partner's technical skills for granted, she wishes to seek out his very soul! Presently she is quite frequently dancing with another passionate Russian, the unpredictable and restless Sergei Polunin.,,,,Uspenski, himself a dancer, has compiled this series of black and white photos.showing Osipova's transformation from studio rehearsal garb through practice on stage in partial make-up and costume, moving on to full dress-rehearsal with her swans before the final performance and accolades with her prince, Carlos Acosta. Uspenski captures her total theatrical and dramatic immersion in the role even in rehearsal. The photographic portraits of her are sensitive and revealing. Some of the most effective have the back wall of the studio illumined by shafts of strong sunlight. And there is even a foreword in Russian for the enthusiast.
on 8 October 2014
I think Natalia Osipova is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, ballerinas of her generation. I love this book. The photographs say all that needs to be said, and no words are needed other than those in the introduction.
My compliments to Andrej Uspenski for a fine, warm and sincere piece of work.
on 22 October 2013
I'm a keen photographer, follow ballet photography in particular and am also a huge admirer of Natalia Osipova, who I feel is both one of the most technically accomplished dancers and most charismatic and charming performers on the international ballet scene. I therefore ordered this well in advance of its availability and was keenly awaiting its arrival. In short, plenty there for the enthusiast but overall a bit of a let down. The book effectively plots a pictorial journey from role characterisation and rehearsal through to realisation on stage, based on Natalia's portrayal of the dual Odette/Odile role in Swan Lake and focusing on how she builds out Odette. Andrej Uspenski has a privileged position as a fellow dancer, and so is able to steal glimpses that feel unobtrusive and also exploit his empathy and technical knowledge of dance. However, the photographs themselves are quite variable in quality. They have a journalistic rather than studio feel, which is appropriate, but technically they are just not that great. There are occasional focus issues, noise, burn out, and tonal muddiness, and whatever camera he is using does not seem to be great in low light. Contrast these with those of another dancer turned photographer, Enrico Nawrath, who does an exemplary job in catching backstage moments as well as more formally posed work with the Berlin Staatsballett, and you will see the gap between what has been achieved and what is possible. Another comparator is Gene Schiavone, who shoots in low light and is equipped to do so, showing no grain and digital noise in his work. Perhaps unfair as both of these are pros, and it is also difficult to tell what could also have been improved in the printing of the book as opposed ot the source material. I'll leaf through it a few times, but it doesn't draw the gasps of admiration that Nawrath/Schiavone could have produced from such an amazing subject.