Lockdown’s dance legacy is evident in a new series of films, including one that matches the ex-Bolshoi ballerina with hip-hop choreographer Joseph Toonga
Just because we can get back into the theatre now, doesn’t mean dance films have run out of steam. It’s the perfect platform to try things out in a short format and experiment with untested collaborations. Like global dance star and ex-Bolshoi ballerina Natalia Osipova working with east London hip-hop choreographer Joseph Toonga. That’s what you get in Room to Room, a project begun by dancers Ana Maria Lucaciu and Catarina Carvalho in their locked-down living rooms that expanded into a worldwide series, starting with the same set of prompts but with wildly different results. This is the UK edition – three five-minute solos made with filmmaker Ravi Deepres.
Osipova’s film, Moments Uncut, inevitably has the strongest central performance but it’s far from her comfort zone. In the studio, in jeans and T-shirt, she holds herself casually, letting a little bit of the rhythm in, shifting, glitching, reaching, scrolling over beat-heavy music from Boy Blue’s Mikey Asante. For a ballet dancer to absorb new dance styles, it’s less about steps than how your body sits and what spurs your movement, experimenting with weight, transition, attack and impetus, although occasionally her dramatic ballerina instincts seep through.