When Johan Kobborg took over as artistic director of the Romanian National Ballet after retiring from The Royal Ballet in 2013, he vowed to heighten the Bucharest-based company’s profile. Now, Kobborg and his longtime fiancée, Romanian-born English National Ballet star Alina Cojocaru, are getting ready to introduce the company to New York City audiences. Tomorrow night, they are hosting the World Ballet Stars gala at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, a fundraising event for the Romanian National Ballet that features eight of its top dancers alongside a stellar lineup of international guest artists.
I, for one, can’t wait to see this much talent in one place. Joining the company onstage will be English National Ballet’s Tamara Rojo and Isaac Hernandez, the Mariinsky Ballet’s Ulyana Lopatkina (dancing her world-famous rendition of The Dying Swan), New York City Ballet’s Daniel Ulbricht, American Ballet Theatre’s Daniil Simkin, Stuttgart Ballet’s Friedemann Vogel and Norwegian National Ballet’s Osiel Gouneo.
In a 2014 video, Kobborg praised his dancers, saying, “We have so much to offer, and I think the quality of what we have here deserves the attention of the world.” And while Wednesday night’s gala will help do just that, the proceeds from the performance will fund resources necessary to continue building the company’s momentum: equipment, teachers, trainers, scholarships and salaries, as well as an endowment and a pension plan for older dancers. For tickets, click here.