21 Facts About Alina Cojocaru


Alina Cojocaru was born on 27 May 1981 and is a Romanian ballet dancer.


Alina Cojocaru was previously a principal dancer with The Royal Ballet and a lead principal with the English National Ballet.


Alina Cojocaru left her family to train at the school, and did not speak any Ukrainian.


The ballet school gave a public performance every six months and it was in one of these performances that Alina Cojocaru made her debut, dancing the role of Amor in Don Quixote.


Alina Cojocaru moved to London later that year to commence her training, but did not speak any English.


Alina Cojocaru was offered a contract to join the Kiev Ballet as principal.


Alina Cojocaru subsequently joined Kiev Ballet in November 1998, believing she would gain greater experience as a principal dancer.

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Tamara Rojo

Alina Cojocaru stayed for one season, dancing a variety of roles.


Whilst dancing with Kiev Ballet, Alina Cojocaru re-applied to the Royal Ballet in London, but was only invited to audition for the corps de ballet.


Alina Cojocaru attended an audition for the company whilst on leave from Kiev Ballet and was offered a contract.


Alina Cojocaru was promoted to principal dancer in 2001.


The partnership began in 2001 when they danced together in Romeo and Juliet after Alina Cojocaru filled in for an injured Miyako Yoshida.


Since then, Kobborg and Alina 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 2012, Alina 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.


In July 2013, following her departure from the Royal Ballet, Alina Cojocaru joined the English National Ballet as a principal dancer.


Alina Cojocaru is directed by her former Royal Ballet colleague Tamara Rojo She is a guest at the Hamburg Ballet.


However, in 2016, actions by new leadership at the Bucharest National Opera House resulted in both Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru resigning, triggering protests by dancers.


Alina Cojocaru won the Critics' Circle National Dance Awards 2017 Outstanding Female Performance for her portrayal of the title role in Akram Khan's Giselle.


Alina Cojocaru was appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2023 Special Honours for services to ballet.


In 2008, during rehearsal when an unidentified partner handled her awkwardly in a lift, Alina Cojocaru suffered a whiplash injury that could have ended her career.


Alina Cojocaru is married to her former dance partner Johan Kobborg.