Polunin and Osipova dancing at La Scala. Photo by Marco Brescia and Rudy Amisano
What’s more exciting than two of ballet’s biggest superstars dancing together in a new contemporary program at Sadler’s Wells? How about finding out they’re a couple in real life, too?
Well, it’s official. This week, Royal Ballet principal Natalia Osipova and Stanislavsky dancer Sergei Polunin (who also made waves dancing in a viral video to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” earlier this year) confirmed the rumors that have been flying around for months when they announced that they are, in fact, in a relationship. They’re also longing to dance together more often, and claim that classical companies are resistant to letting them be partners onstage. The two performed together in Giselle at La Scala earlier this year, but haven’t been able to do so again since.
That’s about to change. This week, they announced the new contemporary program, opening at Sadler’s Wells in June and featuring work by Arthur Pita, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Russell Maliphant. Osipova and Polunin will star in Hotel Flamingo, a work by Pita based on A Streetcar Named Desire, with Osipova playing Blanche and Polunin as Stanley. This isn’t Osipova’s first time working with Pita and Cherkaoui: last year’s Solo for Two program, which she performed with her ex-fiancé Ivan Vasiliev, also featured their choreography.
From Polunin’s abrupt departure from the Royal two years ago to Osipova’s much-talked-about split from Vasiliev, neither of these two is a stranger to the spotlight—and both seem to have a rebellious streak. Now that they’ve joined forces both onstage and off, we can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.