Leanne Cope

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Leanne Cope
Bath, England
OccupationBallet dancer

Leanne Michelle Cope is an English ballet dancer and theatre actress. She achieved prominence as First Artist for The Royal Ballet, after training in the Royal Ballet School and graduating in 2003.

In 2015, she originated the role of Lise Dassin in the original Broadway production of An American in Paris, a role originated in film by Leslie Caron. She had previously played the role in the Théâtre du Châtelet. Her performance was critically acclaimed, and Cope received both Drama Desk and Tony Award nominations.

Early life[edit]

Cope was born in Bath, and began dancing at the age of five. She first trained at The Dorothy Colebourn School of Dance before joining The Royal Ballet Lower School at the age of 11,[1] and started taking ballet seriously at the age of 15.[2]


After graduating, Cope became a dancer for The Royal Ballet, and in 2009 she became First Artist of the company. The choreographer Liam Scarlett called her "a presence on stage like no other".[1]

In 2014, while dancing in The Royal Ballet's Swan Lake, Cope was spotted by Christopher Wheeldon, who was looking for a leading actress for his stage version of the film An American in Paris. Having heard that Cope sang at school, Wheeldon asked her to sing for him. Cope sang "The Man I Love", and was cast in the role of Lise.[3] While preparing for the role, she met with Leslie Caron, who originated the role of Leslie in the 1951 film, to discuss the character.[4] The show opened on 12 April,[5] and Cope received praise for her performance. In a review, David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Cope "has delicacy and charm; she's a confident singer, and while there's only a passing physical resemblance, her diminutive size and that chic French bob subtly recall Caron."[6] In 2016, it was announced that An American in Paris will be heading to the West End, with both Fairchild and Cope reprising their roles. The musical began previews on 4 March 2017.[7]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Work Outcome
2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical[8] An American in Paris Nominated
Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical[9] Nominated
Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance[10] Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical[11] Nominated
Fred and Adele Astaire Award for Best Female Dancer[12] Won
Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence Won
2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Leanne Cope – People – Royal Opera House". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  2. ^ "An American in Paris Star Leanne Cope on Auditioning in the Shower & Her Trashy TV Obsession". Broadway.com. Broadway.com. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  3. ^ Kaufman, Sarah (7 May 2015). "Leanne Cope's surprising leap from ballerina to Tony-nominated Broadway star". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  4. ^ Purcell, Cary. "An American in Paris' Leanne Cope on a Fateful Meeting with Leslie Caron, The Allure of French Women and Love in the Age of Tinder". Playbill. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  5. ^ Mackrell, Judith (8 December 2014). "Return to rive gauche: how Christopher Wheeldon adapted An American in Paris". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Rooney, David. "'An American in Paris': Theater Review". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  7. ^ Lloyd Webber, Imogen. "Bonjour, London! Robert Fairchild & Leanne Cope Will Headline West End Production of An American in Paris". Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Drama Desk Award Nominations". Drama Desk Awards. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  9. ^ "'Finding Neverland' shut out at Tony Awards nominations". Boston Globe. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Drama League 2015 nominees". The Drama League. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  11. ^ "2015 OCC Nominations Announced". Outercritics.org. Retrieved 9 May 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  12. ^ "2015 Fred and Adele Astaire Award Nominations Announced". theatermania.com. 4 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)

External links[edit]