Johan Kobborg
Johan Kobborg is a principal dancer
Principal dancer
A principal dancer is a dancer at the highest rank within a professional dance company, particularly a ballet company....

 with the Royal Ballet in London.

Early Life

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 , attending the Royal Danish Ballet School, where he was tutored in the Bournonville method of classical dance. He graduated in 1991.

Professional career

After his graduation, Kobborg joined the Royal Danish Ballet
Royal Danish Ballet
The Royal Danish Ballet is one of the oldest ballet companies in the world. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, it originates from 1748, when the Royal Danish Theatre was founded, and was finally organized in 1771 in response to the great popularity of French and Italian styles of dance...

 and was promoted to the rank of principal dancer in 1994, following his debut in the role of James in La Sylphide
La Sylphide
La Sylphide is one of the world's oldest surviving romantic ballets. There were two versions of the ballet; the version choreographed by the Danish balletmaster August Bournonville is the only version known to have survived....

. He joined the Royal Ballet in 1999, and has danced most of the leading parts in the repertory among them, the Prince (The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker is a two-act ballet, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto is adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King". It was given its première at the Mariinsky Theatre in St...

, Cinderella
Cinderella (Prokofiev)
Cinderella is a ballet, Op. 87, composed by Sergei Prokofiev to a scenario by Nikolai Volkov. It is one of his most popular and melodious compositions, and has inspired a great many choreographers since its inception. The piece was composed between 1940 and 1944. Part way through writing it he...

), Sigfried, Romeo, Onegin, Albrecht, Oberon, Rudolf, Des Grieux, Désiré and Prince Florimund. His guests appearances include dancing with the Mariinsky Ballet
Mariinsky Ballet
The Mariinsky Ballet is a classical ballet company based at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Founded in the 18th century and originally known as the Imperial Russian Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet is one of the world's leading ballet companies...

, Bolshoi Ballet
Bolshoi Ballet
The Bolshoi Ballet is an internationally renowned classical ballet company, based at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia. Founded in 1776, the Bolshoi is among the world's oldest ballet companies, however it only achieved worldwide acclaim by the early 20th century, when Moscow became the...

, La Scala Ballet, National Ballet of Canada
National Ballet of Canada
The National Ballet of Canada is Canada's largest ballet troupe. It was founded by Celia Franca in 1951 and is based in Toronto, Ontario. Based upon the unity of Canadian trained dancers in the tradition and style of England's Royal Ballet, The National is regarded as one of the premier classical...

, Hamburg Ballet
Hamburg Ballet
Hamburg Ballet, also known as the Hamburg State Opera Ballet, is an internationally acclaimed ballet company located in Hamburg, Germany. Since 1973 it is directed by the American dancer and choreographer John Neumeier....

, Stuttgart Ballet
Stuttgart Ballet
Stuttgart Ballet was the first major German ballet company. It rose to fame in the 1960s under Artistic Director John Cranko. The company, which is renowned for presentations of full-length narrative ballets including Romeo and Juliet, Eugene Onegin, The Taming of the Shrew, John Neumeier's Die...

, Vienna State Opera Ballet
Vienna State Opera Ballet
The Vienna State Opera Ballet, like the opera company, is based at the Vienna State Opera House in Vienna, Austria. The original building was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1945....

 and Teatro San Carlo, Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

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
Kevin O'Hare
Kevin O'Hare is a former professional ballet dancer who is now the Administrative Director of The Royal Ballet.-Biography:Kevin was born to Irish parents in Kingston upon Hull , where he trained at the Vera Skelton School of Dance. He also attended classes with Louise Browne, at what would become...

 would be her successor. Kobborg previously declined an invitation to bid for the Directorship of the Royal Danish Ballet
Royal Danish Ballet
The Royal Danish Ballet is one of the oldest ballet companies in the world. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, it originates from 1748, when the Royal Danish Theatre was founded, and was finally organized in 1771 in response to the great popularity of French and Italian styles of dance...

, 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.


Kobborg has also been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the Nureyev
Rudolf Nureyev
Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev was a Russian dancer, considered one of the most celebrated ballet dancers of the 20th century. Nureyev's artistic skills explored expressive areas of the dance, providing a new role to the male ballet dancer who once served only as support to the women.In 1961 he...

 International Competition (Grand Prix 1994), USA International Competition, Jackson, USA (Grand Prix 1994) and the Erik Bruhn
Erik Bruhn
Erik Belton Evers Bruhn was a Danish ballet dancer, choreographer, company director, actor, and author.- Biography :...

 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.

Personal life

Kobborg fell in love with his most frequent partner, Romanian dancer Alina Cojocaru
Alina Cojocaru
Alina Cojocaru is a female principal dancer with The Royal Ballet of London.-Early years:Alina Cojocaru was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania. She has one sister. From a young age she studied gymnastics...

 and it was officially confirmed in 2005 that the two were having a romantic relationship off-stage. In May 2011, whilst Cojocaru was making a guest appearance with the American Ballet Theater, her dance partner was injured so Kobborg flew to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 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.


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