There is so much wrong with “Natalia Osipova’s Pure Dance with David Hallberg,” a program of six short dances that was presented at the New York City Center in early April, that it’s hard to know where to begin. So I’ll start with the ribbons.

I’m referring to the pale pink ribbons with which pointe shoes are tied at the ankle. Female classical dancers spend outrageous amounts of time preparing their shoes for performance, and each has her own imperatives when it comes to customizing the shoe to her foot (type in “pointe shoes” on YouTube and all kinds of variations come up). No matter what a dancer does to her shoes, when they’re on the foot and the ribbons are tied, the look must be clean and smooth. The knot and ribbon ends are unseen because they’ve been tucked under the ribbons that wrap each ankle and then stitched (or at...

 

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