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London’s Royal Ballet and the Ballet World Bids Farewell to Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg

Last evening was the final performance of two of the Royal Ballet’s shining dancers. The two principal dancers performed in Mayerling with such depth and feeling as never before experienced on the Royal Ballet’s stage.  My daughter had purchased her ticket months ago and has enjoyed many Mayerling ballets this season. I was lucky enough to be able to see one in April with Edward Watson, dancing the lead Prince Rudolph. His performance was spectacular and he received something we have never experienced in all the years we have been attending the ballet; foot stomping in the audience at curtain calls. The sound reverberated within us  all. Wow.

I just can’t imagine the emotion flowing through that theater last evening. Oh, I can guarantee you there were tears in that audience last evening. My daughter always gives me interval calls at the intermissions for updates. She was without words for the experience she was having. Johan gave 150% in his role and that was only the first Act. This ballet is very demanding and one needs to pace themselves for what’s to come. It sounds like there was no pacing last evening. John just kept coming like a freight train with emotion, speed, and precision. Oh how I wish I had been there, but thanks to my daughter’s calls, I felt  as if I were.

At curtain call, the two principal dancers were honored with the flower toss. This is the highest accolade that can be bestowed on a dancer at a performance. Oh to have been a fly on those walls!

This loss is not completely understood by many, at this time. It is rocking the ballet world and anyone who have seen either of these magnificent dancers, is feeling the loss, deeply.

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg at the curtain

call for Mayerling June 5, 2013



Thursday, June 6, 2013

Two Principal Dancers to Leave Royal Ballet

Mr. Kobborg and Ms. Cojocaru performing in Andrea Mohin/The New York Times Mr. Kobborg and Ms. Cojocaru performing in “Romeo and Juliet” with the American Ballet Theater in New York in 2012.

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg, two of most admired principal dancers on the roster of the Royal Ballet, in London, announced on Monday that they would leave the company at the end of the current season. Their final performance at the Royal Opera House will be in “Mayerling” on Wednesday, although they will remain with the company for a visit to Japan, with performances in Tokyo on July 11 and 12.

Ms. Cojocaru, 34, was born in Bucharest, trained in Kiev, and joined the Royal Ballet in 1999. Mr. Kobborg, a Danish dancer, joined the company in 1991 and became a principal dancer in 1994. The two first worked together in 2001, when Ms. Cojocaru filled in for an ailing Miyako Yoshida in a production of “Romeo and Juliet,” in which Mr. Kobborg was dancing Romeo. That collaboration was the start of a storied partnership onstage and off, and that year Ms. Cojocaru was named a principal dancer.

Their work at the company has not been uneventful. In 2008, Ms. Cojocaru was seriously injured when she was handled awkwardly in a lift, but she was dancing again the following season. That same year, there was talk of Mr. Kobborg succeeding Monica Mason as the company’s director, when she stepped down in 2012, although in the event, Kevin O’Hare was appointed to the position.

The two have danced with other companies, including the American Ballet Theater, with increasing frequency in recent seasons. In 2012, John Neumeier’s “Liliom,” which had its premiere at the Hamburg Ballet, was created for Ms. Cojocaru, who won the Prix Benois de la Danse for her portrayal of the lead role.

“We have had wonderful experiences with the Royal Ballet over the years, and feel fortunate to have worked alongside so many inspiring artists,” Ms. Cojocaru and Mr. Kobborg said in a statement.

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg to leave The

Royal Ballet at the end of 2012/13 season

Principals’ final performance at Covent Garden in Mayerling on 5 June.

BY CHRIS SHIPMAN (Online Content Producer (Social Media and News))

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg in Giselle © ROH/Tristram Kenton

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg have announced they will leave The Royal Ballet at the end of the 2012/13 season to pursue other artistic challenges. Their last performance at the Royal Opera House as members of The Royal Ballet will be in Mayerling on 5 June. They will fulfil their touring engagement with the Company with their scheduled performances on 10 and 12 July in Tokyo. They will both continue dancing and will shortly announce their future plans.

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, said:

‘Alina and Johan have given many memorable performances as members of The Royal Ballet both at the Royal Opera House and around the world. Over the past ten years I have greatly enjoyed watching their unique partnership develop, as I know our audiences have, and I wish them every success in the next phase of their careers.’

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg joined The Royal Ballet in 1999. Speaking about their decision to leave the Company, they said:

‘We have had wonderful experiences with The Royal Ballet over the years and feel fortunate to have worked alongside so many inspiring artists. We wish Kevin O’Hare and The Royal Ballet’s  dancers and staff all the best for the future and would like to thank our loyal and supporting audience for sharing many magical moments with us.’

Farewell Alina And Johan. Thank you for all the wonderful experiences.

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