The Royal's Alina Cojocaru
Willis, Margaret, Dance Magazine
Instead of getting the dog she dreamed of for Christmas, Alina Cojocaru received a bonsai tree from her boyfriend and partner, Johan Kobborg. Like the bonsai, Cojocaru is petite, but her unique talents have led her to grow in artistic stature to great heights. Her rise to fame is the stuff that dreams are made of. As a corps member, she stepped in with five days' notice to learn the role created by Margot Fonteyn in Symphonic Variations. The buzz at the premiere meant that she wouldn't be hidden in the corps for long. Again she came to the rescue in the role of Juliet for another injured ballerina. Three months later, as a soloist, her Giselle left the audience dabbing their eyes and the artistic director speedily promoting her to principal. That was in 2001.
Since then, the young Romanian, trained in the Ukraine and now the pride of the British public who claim her as their own, has continued to amaze and delight with a variety of roles (see cover story, March 2002). As the Sylph in Kobborg's new staging of La Syltohide, Cojocaru was as delicate as a meringue, yet mischievous with a child-like innocence. She's also been an ideal Sugar Plum Fairy, Ondine, Aurora, Odette, Nikiya, and Titania. She has proved her intensity and strength as Manon, as Tatiana in Onegin, as the Pupil in Flindt's creepy The Lesson, and in Forsythe's steely choreography. She enjoys working with new choreographers who in return, appreciate her willingness to try different things. …