Anderson was a woman who believed herself to be Anastasia, youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II and the only survivor from the assassination of the Romanovs in 1918. Leaving the audience to decide the legitimacy of Anna’s claims, MacMillan created a haunting, expressionist work to Martinů’s Sixth Symphony, in which Anna is visited by confused nightmares of her life from the time of the massacre to her discovery in Berlin in 1920. The ballet won widespread acclaim on its premiere, particularly for the central performance of Lynn Seymour in the anguished title role. As MacMillan said in 1971, ‘I found in [Anna’s] story a theme that has sometimes appeared in my work before: the Outsider figure. Anastasia seems to me to be a supreme example of this’.
Russian dancer Natalia Osipova is a Principal of The Royal Ballet. She joined the Company as a Principal in autumn 2013, after appearing as a Guest Artist the previous Season as Odette/Odile (Swan Lake) with Carlos Acosta. Her roles with the Company include Giselle, Kitri (Don Quixote), Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker), Lise (La Fille mal gardée), Titania (The Dream), Juliet, Tatiana (Onegin), Manon, Natalia Petrovna (A Month in the Country) and roles in Rhapsody, Serenade, DGV: Danse à grande vitesse and Tchaikovsky Pas de deux. Her role creations include Amélie Gautreau (Christopher Wheeldon’s Strapless) and in Wayne McGregor’s Tetractys and Woolf Works and Alastair Marriott’s Connectome.
Osipova was born in Moscow and began dancing at the age of five. Aged eight she joined the Mikhail Lavrosky Ballet School. From 1995 to 2004 she trained at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography and on graduating entered the corps of the Bolshoi Ballet, where she was promoted to principal in 2010. Her repertory there included Kitri (Don Quixote), Giselle, Nikiya and Gamzatti (La Bayadère), La Sylphide, Esmerelda, Princess Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty) and Swanilda (Coppélia). In 2011 she left the Bolshoi to join the Mikhailovsky Ballet as a principal.
Osipova has appeared as a guest artist with companies around the world. In March 2012 she became a principal of American Ballet Theatre, where she created the title role in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Firebird. Her awards include Golden Masks for her performances in In the Upper Room (2008) and La Sylphide (2009), Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards (Best Female Dancer, 2007, 2010 and 2014) and a Benois de la Danse Award (Best Female Dancer, 2008).
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