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Jonathan Cope retires

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Me, being purely selfish:



In my opinion, Cope is the best partner the Royal has, not to mention one of the tallest. But, in recent years we've also seen him grow more as an artist and an interpreter, as well as being successful in coaching ballets such as Romeo and Juliet and Ondine.

I'm saddened. Cope is a true danseur noble and has one of the most artistic, strong, and vulnerable arabesques I've ever seen. That's what makes his opening solo in Manon so sublime, so perfect - his simple, clean dancing coupled with shy but yearning glances at the young Manon pave the way for the rest of the story to unfold. His Prince Rudolph in Mayerling is remarkable, to say the least. While his partnering skills and the freedom with which his partners danced with him are memorable, he has shown himself to be so much more than a partner. (Indeed, as much more than a partner to Guillem and Bussell as well. My more immediate concern is for Tamara Rojo!)

While saddened, I am glad to hear that he is continuing at the Royal as a repetiteur, giving so many a chance to learn from his vast amount of knowledge and experience.

I think I will go and make several cups of tea now.

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I am so sad to hear this news as I really enjoyed watching Jonathan Cope perform. For me he seemed like the perfect partner and a very noble dancer. I do wish that I had seen him dance with Tamara Rojo in Mayerling before he retired. However, I'm very glad that he is to remain working at the Royal as he has so much to offer.

I must say that I few days ago I was on Sylvie's website looking at her performance schedule and noticed she was not dancing with Cope at all this Fall. It made me think that he had probably suffered a major injury or decided to retire. I was glad to read the official press release and see what was going.

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Jonathan Cope was one of my teachers when I attended the Royal Ballet School’s Covent Garden Summer School. My class had him regularly. He was a wonderful teacher and a wonderful person. He immediately learned the name of each student in the class. He also took the time to sign autographs for each of us and posed for the endless photos that we requested of him. I am saddened that not only has he decided to retire, but that through this accident his retirement is coming sooner than expected. I wish him a speedy and full recovery, and I am hopeful that he will continue to share his enormous gifts with future generations of dancers as a teacher.

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What a lovely tribute, Whitney, and how lucky for you and your classmates to have had such a good teacher/nice guy!

I hope you'll go to our Welcome Page and tell us a little about yourself. And please let us know what you're seeing.

You may be interested in visiting our sister site, BalletTalk for Dancers. (There is also a quick link at the far right side of the banner atop this page.) If you decide to register there, too, please use the same screen name.

Again, welcome to BalletTalk!

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Jonathan Cope is/was one of the greatest male principal dancers the Royal Ballet has ever had. I got to see him perform many times and was always charmed by his elegance and outstanding stage presence. He was also a wonderful partner and I will always remember the Manon pas-de-deux he used to dance with Sylvie Guillem... It's a good thing he will still be around in Covent Garden to help younger dancers benefit from his experience. Hopefully we'll see him perform character roles every now then!

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Unfortunately this podcast won't be available for very much longer...


Broadcast on BBC Radio Wales, 5:30AM Wed, 12 Jan 2011

Only available until 6:02AM Wed, 19 Jan 2011

Value Judgements - Series 14 - Episode 5

Ballet dancer Jonathan Cope has had a glittering career. He talks to Phil George about his love for dance, and about the time when his sense of vocation deserted him.

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Not sure if I ever got to see him dance live, if so, it was in mid-80's or '90's. But besides various videos and clips available, which definately demonstrate everyone's opinion of his abilities, I also remember a slim book of photographs (were they by him?) and the pics of him (and Wayne Eagling) rehearsing with Kenneth MacMillan. It was rather rare, but worth the views. I am very sorry he is retiring, hope he recovers soon from his injury, and wish him all success in his future endeavors.

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