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Jane Simpson

Cojocaru and Kobborg leaving the Royal Ballet

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It has just been announced that Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg will leave the Royal Ballet at the end of this season 'to pursue other artistic challenges'.

They will dance with the company as scheduled in Tokyo in July but their last London performance will be in Mayerling on June 5th.

Press release

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I wonder if this news has anything to do with the fact that Osipova will be now dancing at the Royal. I'm only wondering.

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I was totally shocked as they had been cast in the upcoming 2013/14 season. I wonder if it's a last minute decision.

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I wonder if this news has anything to do with the fact that Osipova will be now dancing at the Royal. I'm only wondering.

Or the change to a new director, Kevin O'Hare? Didn't we see reports earlier that his predecessor resisted hiring Osipova as a regular principal?

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According to a small article on this in Arts Beat in the NY Times today, Kobborg was a potential candidate for Monica Mason's job, but Kobborg lost out to O'Hare. There might be some negative vibes due to that situation as well.

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I'd like to mention that at the major British dance forum (1279 members) there has been over 5,000 'look ins' since this news was first posted this morning.

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Alina is being replaced in Swan Lake on 6/21, ABT gives no reason. I am wondering if the latest cast change and her leaving RB share any common factors.

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I've got a ticket to that one -- but Maria Kochetkova, whom I love but never get to see, is her replacement, so what can I say except best wishes to Alina and Johan no matter what.

Added later:

If there are any more replacements could Myriam Ould Braham be arranged ?

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I've got a ticket to that one -- but Maria Kochetkova, whom I love but never get to see, is her replacement, so what can I say except best wishes to Alina and Johan no matter what.

Added later:

If there are any more replacements could Myriam Ould Braham be arranged ?

I had a ticket to that Swan Lake too and am disappointed, but I've never seen Maria Kochetkova live so I'm excited for that opportunity. I just hope that I have other chances to see Cojocaru again. She is one of the greats.

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Alina is being replaced in Swan Lake on 6/21, ABT gives no reason. I am wondering if the latest cast change and her leaving RB share any common factors.

The press release stated that Cojocaru is injured.

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Alina is being replaced in Swan Lake on 6/21, ABT gives no reason. I am wondering if the latest cast change and her leaving RB share any common factors.

The press release stated that Cojocaru is injured.

I must have missed it. It seems very strange, does that mean she won't be able to dance her last performance in London with RB on 6/5?

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I've got a ticket to that one -- but Maria Kochetkova, whom I love but never get to see, is her replacement, so what can I say except best wishes to Alina and Johan no matter what.

I had a ticket to that Swan Lake too and am disappointed, but I've never seen Maria Kochetkova live so I'm excited for that opportunity. I just hope that I have other chances to see Cojocaru again. She is one of the greats.

I presume you both have heard that SF Ballet is traveling to NY Koch Theatre later this year? October 16-27, 2013. Kochetkova should be in a number of those ballets. ;)

http://www.sfballetb...witterclickthru

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IAdded later:

If there are any more replacements could Myriam Ould Braham be arranged ?

Myriam Ould Braham cancelled her Gala guesting this summer in Japan due to pregnancy (which was announced officially). However, she is expected to dance in La Sylphide this month at POB.

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Alina Cojocaru was also the Mariinsky's unprecedented guest star at five of its Festivals in a row until her injury after which she returned for one more which may have been one of her greatest performances. I'll certainly miss seeing her and Johan in London.

Thanks for the Maria Kochetkova info. Actually I live part of the year in California, but at the other end of a rather big state. Mention of a chance to see Myriam Ould Braham was just a momentary reverie.

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How can Cojocaru be too injured to do SL at ABT on June 21, but well enough to dance Mayerling at the RB on June 5? Doesn't make much sense to me. Is Mayerling a really easy ballet? I've never seen it.

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Depends on how you describe easy. Mary Vetsera, Cojocaru's character, only joins the cast half way through and much of what she has to perform is acting and double work. If she has a foot or leg problem, she might still be able to dance Mayerling as she will spend a lot of time off the ground. If it's back or neck she won't appear .

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I wonder how much Kobborg had to do with the departure. When he was in New Zealand staging their new Giselle, he and Steifel gave some interviews. Apparently, Kobburg had applied for the director's job and asked Steifel for a reference. Steifel got the job in the end, of course, and they essentially said "no hard feelings." So I wonder if he couldn't get opportunities for staging or dancing with RB that he sought at this stage of his career. Any information along those lines?

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Did anyone attend their final Mayerling performance?

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I wonder how much Kobborg had to do with the departure. When he was in New Zealand staging their new Giselle, he and Steifel gave some interviews. Apparently, Kobburg had applied for the director's job and asked Steifel for a reference. Steifel got the job in the end, of course, and they essentially said "no hard feelings." So I wonder if he couldn't get opportunities for staging or dancing with RB that he sought at this stage of his career. Any information along those lines?

A couple of the articles I linked to hinted as much, noting that the Royal has a plethora of choreographers and stagers right now and they didn't really need Kobborg in that capacity. There's an interesting parallel between Cojocaru-Kobborg and Murphy-Stiefel - in both cases the men reached retirement or semi-retirement age significantly earlier than their ladies, creating potential career issues for the ballerinas.

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Gillian didn't give up her ABT career to suit Steifel. Moreover, Steifel gave her the chance to dance Giselle (at RNZB), whereas ABT has only cast her as Myrta to date.

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Did anyone attend their final Mayerling performance?

Yes, Me (raises hand)

Please don't ask for a critical appraisal as for me the evening was too emotional for that. There was a rather strange atmosphere in the house with just about everyone in a state of shock at the suddeness of it all. Kobborg has been plagued by injuries for a long time now, indeed my last minute scramble to get a ticket was because they had cancelled the earlier performance of Mayerling that I had booked for, but Cojocaru dances with other partners too and over the years had seemed a permanent fixture and for many the company's crowning glory, it's only just beginning to sink in that we Londoners are about to face an Alina-less future.

The earlier Mayerling I saw was danced by Mara Galeazzi and last night I went again and saw Leanne Benjamin, so I saw all three Mary Vetseras for the last time, four principal losses in one season is a lot and of course Polunin and Rojo left last year. Hard to believe the face of the company could change so much in such a short space of time.

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Now this is a real shame. Johan Kobborg was supposed to choreograph the 'Four Seasons' ballet in a new ROH production of Verdi's Les Vêpres siciliennes in the fall. Now, apparently, the ballet has been dumped (boo!) and Kobborg and the Royal Ballet are no longer involved. It would seem that the director doesn't want the whole ballet. (I realize it's a long opera, but the ballet is part of its grand opéra identity.) Final tie to the ROH severed.

http://www.roh.org.u...res-siciliennes

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Gillian didn't give up her ABT career to suit Steifel. Moreover, Steifel gave her the chance to dance Giselle (at RNZB), whereas ABT has only cast her as Myrta to date.

Never said she did. (Nor did I say the career decisions would necessarily have negative results.)

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A video of their final performance curtain calls is on youtube. Alina looks very emotional.

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