English National Ballet star Alina Cojocaru was still a Royal Ballet principal in 2006 when she guest-starred in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of The Sleeping Beauty. And as this clip of her Aurora proves, she is indeed a vision in Act II's dream scene. Dancing alongside Andrian Fadeyev and Daria Pavlenko as Prince Désiré and the Lilac Fairy, the Romanian ballerina has an air of otherworldly majesty.
Cojocaru's movements are soft, gentle and aching with sweetness, yet she moves with remarkable power and precision. She bursts from the wing into soaring coupé jetés, completing the first diagonal with an airy suspension in arabesque. Throughout the pas de deux, each gloriously turned out extension of her lower leg becomes a gesture of generosity (even when her foot bops the Prince's hat in a juicy enveloppé from penché at 3:56). In her variation, the slow sequence of cabrioles into piqué arabesque at 5:35 demonstrates Cojocaru's uncanny control. Finally, her perfectly placed pirouettes from fifth in the coda make one thing clear: Cojocaru has an iron will beneath all that tenderness! Happy #ThrowbackThursday!