The Romanian-born ballet star will dance Odette/Odile in two Brisbane performances of Swan Lake in May.

Romanian-born prima ballerina Alina Cojocaru is returning to Queensland Ballet in May to guest star in two performances of Swan Lake.

“Alina Cojocaru is widely considered to be one of the best ballerinas dancing in the world today so we are thrilled that she will be dancing the roles of Odette and Odile in select performances during our season of Swan Lake,” said QB Artistic Director Li Cunxin.

Alina Cojocaru

Cojocaru is a Leading Principal Dancer with English National Ballet and a Guest Artist with Hamburg Ballet. After starting her career with the Kiev Ballet, she joined London’s Royal Ballet in 1999, where she was promoted to Principal Artist in 2001. In 2013, she took the dance world by surprise when she and her fiancé and then dance partner Johan Kobborg abruptly left the Royal for other opportunities. The petite Cojocaru – who has been described as “a pocket Venus” – was quickly snapped up by the ENB.

Last year, Cojocaru danced the role of Aurora in Greg Horsman’s production of The Sleeping Beauty for QB. Li said then: “Her artistry and technique is flawless, her character portrayal beautiful, her lines pure and fluid.”

Chi Cao and Alina Cojocaru in Queensland Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty, photo © David Kelly

Reviewing the production Limelight praised her “gorgeous extensions” and said: “She perfectly captured the playful spirit of sixteen-year old Aurora while displaying incredible strength, control and balance. Her penchés were particularly breathtaking, and every movement was sharp and neat.”

Announcing Cojocaru’s return in Ben Stevenson’s production of Swan Lake next year, Li said: “Queensland Ballet remains committed to being a truly global ballet company and to bringing the best of the best to the stage. This not only provides Australian audiences with a rare opportunity to see one of the world’s finest ballerinas but it also allows our dancers wonderful professional development as they rehearsel and perform with Alina.”

Interestingly, Cojocaru made her role debut as Odette/Odile in Sydney, dancing opposite Kobborg as the Prince, when the Royal Ballet toured to Australia in 2002. Reviewing her performance then, The Australian’s dance critic Deborah Jones wrote: “The tiny Cojocaru is an Odette made of spun glass, one who might break if Siegfried were to hold her too tightly, but in need of his protection. She created an unforgettable image of sweet and sad fragility, expressed via a sweeping back, exquisite placement, mime delivered with a touching sense of being new-minted and a melting quality that saw her float rather than fall into Kobborg’s embrace.”

Alina Cojacaru will perform with the Queensland Ballet on May 9  and May 11. Tickets are available as part of a 2017 season package. Single tickets will go on sale on December 1