Cojocaru and Kobborg to guest with The Australian Ballet next month

Before Alina Cojocaru left the Royal Ballet she told me she felt constrained at Covent Garden and found solace as an honoured guest at the Hamburg Ballet where the artistic director, John Neumeier, gave her many great opportunities to shine.

Her fiancé, Johan Kobborg wasn’t happy at the Royal either and both left the company in June 2013.

Soon after, Cojocaru told the London dance writer, Ismene Brown, that the former artistic director of the Royal Ballet, Monica Mason, had been cutting back her performances, claiming in 2011 that she was “no longer Royal Ballet” style, and she would not be dancing as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty.

She guested often at the Hamburg Ballet and travelled to Australia in 2012 with the company to dance in Neumeier’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Cojocaru had danced in Australia before, including her premiere as Odette/Odile in the Royal Ballet’s tour to Sydney in 2002.

After quitting the Royal she joined English National Ballet as lead principal and last month, Kobborg became the artistic director of the National Romanian Ballet in Bucharest where no doubt Cojocaru will dance from time to time. It’s where she was born.

They have won their freedom to dance where they want and travel as guests around the world.

Cojocaru and Kobborg will dance with the Australian Ballet in Manon at the Sydney Opera House on the evenings of 19th and 22nd of April.

Three days after their second Sydney performance they will dance in a gala at the Sarasota Opera House, Florida. The program is titled “the Sarasota Ballet Presents Johan Kobborg, Alina Cojocaru & Friends”.

In May and June, Cojocaru will guest with American Ballet Theatre, in La Bayadere, Giselle and Swan Lake, with Herman Cornejo.

The Australian Ballet announced the Manon guests on Facebook this morning but has not yet issued a formal media release.

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Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru in the final pas de deux of Manon, the Royal Ballet, photo © Bill Cooper

Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru, Manon, the Royal Ballet, photo © Bill Cooper