Thursday, September 08, 2011

Break for beauty: the amazing Alina Cojocaru dances Don Quixote with Johan Korborg

Meet Alina Cojocaru, a stunningly talented Romanian ballerina--now a principal dancer at the Royal Ballet of London--who in my humble opinion may well become the next Margot Fonteyn (and as you can imagine, I would never make such comparisons lightly). I'm not certain of the date of this performance; Cojocaru's Kirti (in Don Quixote) marked her debut ballet with the Kiev school in the mid-nineties, when she was a teen. She's now thirty and is engaged to her partner Johan Korborg, who, as you can see in this clip, is no slouch himself.

But as for Cojocaru...*sigh*...what beautiful lines and what absolutely incredible extension. I watched this three times, with a goosebumps bristling along my limbs and lump wedged in my throat. She's technically near-perfect but is by no means a flawless dancer, not yet: she travels a tiny bit while executing those whiplash fouettes, for one thing. And dancing Kirti requires more fire, at least to my romantic mind. Cojocaru will mature and develop subtleties like emotionality and musicality over time. In this performance, however, she is perhaps too calm and collected.

Nonetheless, I am sure Dame Margot would approve. I know I'll be watching.


  1. Her lines and extension here are lovely, but there comes a moment where the extension becomes the point. Speaking for myself: seeing that is like watching an actor fall out of character. Twice she takes an extreme attitude and can't hold her pointe. Still, it's a fantastic debut. He's a joy to watch, too. Airy. Agile.

  2. I agree, Tata. It gets to the point (forgive the pun) where the ballerina is doing "tricks", like a gymnast, and this is underscored by people applauding every pirouette or spectacular leap, etc. Drives me nuts when they do that! (The applauding right in the middle of the dance, I mean.)

    So distracting and it only underscores the "oooh look at me doing this trick!" nature of a single element of dance, as opposed to appreciating and absorbing the beauty of the cohesive whole.

  3. I'm surprised that a London audience would do the unwanted applause thing -- also makes me cringe. Locally, the symphony program took to reminding the audience members that applause between movements was not appropriate. (They really are just trying to be polite and mean well.) But in dance, the audience hasn't been so admonished.

    I always thought this was perhaps a residue from watching skaters at the Olympics. Sport/art confusion from contemporary audiences.

    Lovely, lovely movement. More fire, yes.