Profile of Alina Cojocaru
Alina Cojocaru (born 27 May 1981) is a Romanian ballet dancer. As of November 2013, she is a principal dancer with the English National Ballet.
Biography of Alina Cojocaru
At the age of 7 or 8 Alina Cojocaru began gymnastic classes in the hope to grow taller, Later she began ballet classes, despite never having seen a live ballet and progressed at the age of 9 to a Bucharest ballet school which acted as a feeder for the Romanian State Ballet school. Later the same year she took and passed the entrance exam for the school and a few months later was chosen by the director of the Kiev Ballet school to take part in a student exchange.
She left her family to train at Kiev Ballet school school without speaking any Russian. Initially, Cojocaru and the other Romanian students were taught separately, before being integrated with the other students in the third year.
The ballet school gave a public performance every six months and it was in one of these performances that Cojocaru made her debut, dancing the role of Amor in Don Quixote.
In January 1997, aged 15, she competed in the Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition. There, she was awarded a six-month scholarship to train at the Royal Ballet School in London. She moved to London later that year to commence her training, but did not speak any English.
After completing her six month training with the Royal Ballet School, Cojocaru was offered a contract to join The Royal Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet. She was also offered a contract to join the Kiev Ballet as principal. She subsequently joined Kiev Ballet in November 1998 and stayed for one season, dancing a variety of roles.
Whilst dancing with Kiev Ballet, Cojocaru re-applied to the Royal Ballet in London, but was only invited to audition for the corps de ballet. She was offered a contract after the audition and joined the company in November 1999. She was subsequently promoted to principal dancer in 2001 by Sir Anthony Dowell after her performance of Giselle, one of the youngest in Royal Ballet history.
In 2004, Cojocaru received the Prix Benois de la Danse for her portrayal of Cinderella.
One of the highlights of her career is her partnership with Danish principal dancer, Johan Kobborg. The partnership began in 2001 when they danced together in Romeo and Juliet after Cojocaru filled in for an injured Miyako Yoshida. Since then, Kobborg and Cojocaru's partnership has been named one of the greatest in the history of ballet, and they have danced together at Covent Garden and worldwide.
In 2005, it was publicly announced that they were in a romantic relationship. In May 2011, Cojocaru was making a guest appearance at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, but her dance partner was injured so Kobborg flew over unexpectedly to fill in and surprised Cojocaru when he proposed to her on her 30th birthday. Their engagement was announced shortly afterward.
In February 2012 Alina premiered her Alina Cojocaru - Dream Project, in Tokyo, Japan, which she directed and staged, while performing along side friends and colleagues from the Tokyo Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, English National Ballet and Royal Ballet.
In the same year, Cojocaru became the first ballerina to receive the Prix Benois de la Danse twice, this time for John Neumeier's Liliom with the Hamburg Ballet. The lead role of Julie also marked the first time a full-length ballet was created around Cojocaru.
In June 2013, she announced that she and Kobborg would leave The Royal Ballet at the end of 2012/13 season.
In July 2013, Cojocaru joined the English National Ballet as a principal dancer. But she continues to perform as a guest artist with companies worldwide, and is a regular guest with the Hamburg Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.
Alina's second Dream Project took place in July 2014. In 2015 Alina presented a charity Gala at the Lincoln Center NY.
In May 2017, Cojocaru announced on Twitter that she and Kobborg are expecting their first child. On 10 October 2017, Kobborg announced via Twitter that Cojocaru had given birth to their daughter Thalia Chulpan.