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XVIII International Ballet Festival MARIINSKY The Stars of the White Nights 2019
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Johan Kobborg (Dancer)

Johan was born in Copenhagen and trained at the Funen Ballet Academy before being admitted to the Royal Danish Ballet School in 1988 at the age of 16.  He joined the Royal Danish Ballet in 1989 and was promoted to Soloist in 1991 and Principal in 1994. 

He made his debut in the Peasant Pas de deux in Giselle. His first major roles were Franz in The Nutcracker and Carelis in August Bournonville’s The Kermesse in Bruges.  Other major roles include: Albrecht in Giselle, Franz in Coppelia, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, the Prince in The Nutcracker, Basilio in Don Quixote, Mercutio, Benvolio and Romeo in Frederick Ashton’s and John Neummeier’s Romeo and Juliet, James in Auguste Bournonville’s La Sylphide, and Gennaro in Napoli.  Johan has also danced Puck, Lysander and Oberon in The Dream, Solo Gentleman in Harald Lander’s Etudes, Lensky in John Cranko’s Onegin, The Teacher in Le Conservatoire, The Flower Festival in Genzano, and Dr Mann in Flemming Flindt’s Legs of Fire.  Johan danced the principal male roles in Le Corsaire, Paquita, the Raymonda divertissement, Paul Taylor’s Aureole, Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de deux and Agon, as well as Peter Martin’s Zakouski.  Johan has created a number of roles including the title role in Peter Schaufuss’ Hamlet.

In 1993 Johan won the gold medal at the Erik Bruhn Competition in Canada. The following year he won the Grand Prix at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, U.S.A. and the Grand Prix at the International Nureyev Ballet Competition in Hungary.  In 1996 he was nominated for the prize Benoir de la Danse for his role as James in La Sylphide.

He has guested with several ballet companies in Europe, including La Scala, Milan, the U.S.A, Japan and Thailand, as well as appearing in TV and video productions such as Bournonville Ballet Technique, The Sleeping Beauty, A Folk Tale and Hamlet.

He appeared as a guest artist with The Royal Ballet on the 1999 Dance Bites tour, creating the lead role in Michael Corder’s Masquerade. Johan joined the Company as a Principal in September 1999.  Since joining the Company he performed the Man’s Solo, Act III in Napoli at the Opening Celebration of The Royal Opera House and the Prince in
The Nutcracker.  Johan has performed leading roles in Ashton’s Symphonic Variations, Les Rendezvous, Scènes de ballet and Ondine. He has also danced the Prince in Cinderella, the Husband in Robbin’s The Concert, Franz in De Valois’ Coppélia, Albrecht in Peter Wright’s production of Giselle, Basilio in Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote, the title role in John Cranko’s Onegin, Antony Tudor’s The Leaves Are Fading, Stephen Baynes’ Beyond Bach, Solor in Natalia Makarova’s production of La Bayadère, Prince Desiré in The Sleeping Beauty, William Forsythe’s In the middle, somewhat elevated and Nacho Duato’s Por Vos Muero.

Other roles include; Prince Siegfried in Anthony Dowell’s production of Swan Lake, the principal role in Michael Corder’s Dance Variations, Balanchine’s Duo Concertant, as the Bridegroom in Ashton’s A Wedding Bouquet, Colas in La Fille mal gardée and the lead male in David Bintley’s Tombeaux..  His Kenneth MacMillan repertory includes the title role in Romeo and Juliet, Crown Prince Rudolf in Mayerling, the Solo Boy in Danses concertantes, Des Grieux in Manon, Kschessinka’s Partner in Anastasia, the Teacher in Flemming Flindt’s The Lesson, Prince Florimund in the Monica Mason and Christopher Newton production of The Sleeping Beauty and the Rake in Ninette De Valois’s The Rake’s Progress.

He has made guest appearances with The Kirov Ballet dancing Giselle with Alina Cojocaru. Other guest appearances include performances with Bolshoi Ballet, La Scala Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Hamburg Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Teatro San Carlos, Naples and the Vienna State Opera.  In September 2003 he created his own show, Out of Denmark at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. For The Royal Ballet he produced Bournenville’s La Sylphide (2005) and Napoli Divertissements (2007).

He has created the role of Reverend Parris in William Tuckett’s The Crucible first performed at the Royal Opera House in the 99/2000 Season, Ashley Page’s This House Will Burn (2001), Le Printemp in David Bintley’s Les Saisons (2003), Kim Brandstrup’s Two Footnotes to Ashton (2005) and the Consort to the Queen of the Waters in Michael Corder’s Water as part of Homage to the Queen (2006).

Since joining The Royal Ballet his television performances include a live BBC broadcast from The Royal Opera House: the Opening Celebrations in December 1999 when Johan performed the Man’s Solo, Act III in Napoli.  He has also been the subject of the South Bank Show with Alina Cojocaru (March 2005).

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