In my blog, “A Royal Exodus,” (https://www.theclassicalgirl.com/?p=487), I elaborated on some of the changes taking place at the Royal Ballet over the past twelve months. Prima ballerina Tamara Rojo off to serve as artistic director (and principal dancer) for the English National Ballet. Longtime principals retiring. Last month, Alina Cojocaru and Johann Kobborg’s shocking, unexpected announcement of their imminent departure, precipitating the question “where next?” particularly for the extraordinary 32-year old Cojocaru. Today a press release from the English National Ballet has answered that question: Alina has joined the ENB as lead principal.
The English National Ballet is suddenly getting very, very interesting to me.
The company has taken on another dancer as well, albeit with less fanfare, but of equal interest to me. Madison Keesler has left the San Francisco Ballet’s corps de ballet to join the ENB in the same capacity. if you’ve read my earlier posts, you’ll know that I’m so proud and admiring of the SFB’s corps dancers, many of whom seem just a hair’s breadth less of technique and talent (and/or the artistic director’s favor?) shy of that of the soloists. I’d been waiting for Madison Keesler to make that jump up to soloist with the SFB (as was, I suspect, Dance Magazine: http://www.dancemagazine.com/issues/February-2012/On-the-Rise-Madison-Keesler). Instead, at the end of the SFB’s 2013 season, Keesler left the SFB to move on to the English National Ballet. It’s a move that made me sad for us, her San Francisco admirers, but happy for her, because invariably, such a move is productive, even necessary, for a dancer’s career. Fortunately, she’s active on Twitter (@MadisonKeesler), interesting and entertaining to follow, so her fans can stay in touch in that capacity.
So, at the English National Ballet, allow me to salute these three women: the impressive Tamara Rojo, who’s proving to be not just a stellar ballerina (we knew that already) but a sharp-minded artistic director; the poetry-in-motion Alina Cojocaru, a wondrous coup for the ENB; and the lovely, graceful Madison Keesler, lending her SFB touch to the company’s corps de ballet. I will certainly keep my eye on the English National Ballet this coming year.
More details about Cojocaru’s news be found here: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/royal-ballet-star-alina-cojocaru-joins-rival-enb-in-shock-step-8708939.html.
And if the name Alina Cojocaru is new to you, check out my first blog about her. Seriously, do. She’s a one-in-a-million kind of dancer. https://www.theclassicalgirl.com/?p=289.