Posted on July 15, 2013
Alina Cojocaru, who resigned from The Royal Ballet at the end of the 2012–13 season, is to join English National Ballet as lead principal. She will continue to make guest appearances with the Hamburg Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.
Cojocaru will make her debut with the company in Anna-Marie Holmes’ new staging of Le Corsaire. She will dance the heroine, Medora, at the production’s premiere in Milton Keynes on October 17. Later in the season, she is scheduled to dance in the Christmas run of The Nutcracker at The London Coliseum, in Lest We Forget, the programme of ballets inspired by World War I, which includes new works by Akram Khan, Liam Scarlett and Russell Maliphant, and in Derek Deane’s in-the-round staging of Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Albert Hall.
Cojocaru said: “I am very excited to be joining English National Ballet next season. I am attracted by the opportunities the repertoire offers, the combination of the classics and the chance to work with choreographers I really admire. I have always enjoyed dancing and performing in the UK and am delighted that English National Ballet will give me the chance to reach new audiences outside London. Not shy of challenges, I look forward to what the future might bring. Sharing Tamara [Rojo]’s passion for the art form and for artistry, I am excited about what lies ahead.”
Like Cojocaru, English National Ballet’s artistic director, Tamara Rojo, came to the company after dancing with The Royal Ballet. Rojo said: “I am so happy to welcome Alina to the company. She is one of the dancers I most admire. Her exquisite technique, dramatic qualities and artistry have been a constant inspiration to many, including me. I know that the dancers in the company will be thrilled to have an artist of her stature join us and I am sure that we can give Alina the artistic challenges and opportunities she seeks.”
Picture: Alina Cojocaru in The Royal Ballet production of Mayerling. Photograph: Bill Cooper, courtesy of The Royal Opera House