Kobborg takes a curtain call at a performance of Sleeping Beauty by the Royal Ballet.
5 June 1972 |
|Partner(s)||Alina Cojocaru (engaged)|
Johan Kobborg (born 5 June 1972) is a Danish ballet dancer, choreographer, director and visual artist. He is most noted as a ballet dancer, having been a principal dancer with both the Royal Danish Ballet and the Royal Ballet in Great Britain, as well as making guest appearances with other international ballet companies. Since leaving the Royal Ballet in 2013, he has worked freelance as a dancer, choreographer and ballet teacher.
Johan Kobborg was born in Odense, Denmark into an artistic family; his mother is a former showgirl and actress and his brother is an actor. From a young age, he trained as a tenor, but left singing to take up dancing.
Kobborg began his professional training at the late age of 16, attending the Royal Danish Ballet School, where he was tutored in the Bournonville method of classical dance. He graduated in 1991.
After his graduation, Kobborg joined the Royal Danish Ballet and was promoted to the rank of principal dancer in 1994, following his debut in the role of James in La Sylphide. He joined the Royal Ballet in 1999, and has danced most of the leading parts in the repertory — among them, the Prince (The Nutcracker, Cinderella), Siegfried, Romeo, Onegin, Albrecht, Oberon, Rudolf, Des Grieux, Désiré and Prince Florimund. His guests appearances include dancing with the Mariinsky Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, La Scala Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Hamburg Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet and Teatro San Carlo, Naples.
One of the highlights of his career is his partnership with Romanian ballerina, Alina Cojocaru. The partnership began in 2001 after the two danced in Romeo and Juliet together after Cojocaru filled in for an injured Miyako Yoshida. Since then, Kobborg and Cojocaru's partnership has been named one of the greatest of all time and has even been compared to the partnership of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev. They have danced together not just at Covent Garden, but also worldwide due to international popularity.
Despite media speculation that Kobborg would retire from the stage to replace Dame Monica Mason as Artistic Director of the Royal Ballet in 2012, it was later announced that Kevin O'Hare would be her successor. Kobborg previously declined an invitation to bid for the Directorship of the Royal Danish Ballet, but in an article for the Daily Telegraph he stated that he would definitely accept such invitation to run the Royal Ballet. Since the announcement of O'Hare's appointment, press speculation about Kobborg's long term future with the company has intensified.
In June 2013, he announced that he and Cojocaru would leave The Royal Ballet at the end of 2012/13 season. Their last performance in London was in Mayerling on 5 June, his 41st birthday, followed by scheduled performances on 10 and 12 July with the company in Tokyo.
Kobborg has also been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the Nureyev International Competition (Grand Prix 1994), USA International Competition, Jackson, USA (Grand Prix 1994) and the Erik Bruhn Competition (1993) and received a 2006 Laurence Olivier Award nomination for his production of La Sylphide.
Kobborg's performance as Albrecht in Giselle, alongside Alina Cojocaru as the title role was recorded in 2006 and aired in England on Boxing Day. It was released on DVD the following year.
Kobborg lives with his fiancée, Alina Cojocaru. Following the formation of their partnership, the two eventually fell in love and it was officially confirmed in 2005 that they were having a romantic relationship off-stage. In May 2011, whilst Cojocaru was making a guest appearance with the American Ballet Theatre, her dance partner was injured so Kobborg flew to New York City unexpectedly to fill in and surprised Cojocaru when he proposed to her on her 30th birthday at the Metropolitan Opera House. Their engagement was announced shortly afterwards. 
- Sulcas, Roslyn (7 February 2007). "A Star Dancer Looks for a New World to Conquer". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
- Brown, Ismene (17 March 2008). "Johan Kobborg: I'd jump at the chance to run the Royal Ballet". Daily Telegraph, 19 March 2008 (London). Retrieved 25 May 2010.
- "Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg to leave The Royal Ballet at the end of 2012/13 season". Retrieved 2013-06-04.
- Deeley, Laura (10 February 2007). "Not just anybody: Alina Cojocaru". London: Times Online. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
- Sulcas, Roslyn (31 May 2011). "At Ballet Theater, Popping the Question After the Plié". The New York Times.
- Ballet Magazine, Jane Simpson, October 2005