Alessandra Ferri returns to dance the end of her marriage

Alessandra Ferri - Io DonnaAt the end of June will return to the stage after an absence of 7 years, and, at the age of 50, will restart her dancing career.

At Spoleto, where she is the artistic director of the dance component, she will dance in The Piano Upstairs, a new work for which she is also choreographer. The piece recounts the end of a marriage, and, although it has been in the pipeline for three years, it is what is happening to Ferri offstage right now. She is separated from her photographer husband Fabrizio Ferri, with whom she had two children, now aged 15 and 11. The Ferris remain friends.

Milan’s Il Corriere della Sera newspaper sent to interview her.

A comeback at 50?

I won’t be dancing Juliet, Manon or Giselle. I want to tackle new roles which are part of who Alessandra is today. I will play Eleonora Duse at La Scala in 2014 in a new ballet which will be created for me by . It was with his Dame aux camélias that I bid farewell to La Scala dancing with

At the off-Broadway Signature Theatre, I’ll play Léa, the 50-year-old lover of the 20-year-old Chéri (which will be played by ABT’s Herman Cornejo) in a new work by Martha Clarke based on Colette’s novel. I’m also working on a Broadway musical.

While she’s surely not deliberately treading on the toes of Italian ballet diva , it is certainly a coincidence that La Fracci is known as the ‘Duse della danza’ and one of her last great roles was in the ballet Cherì that created for her. Incidentally, she was also slated to dance in a Broadway musical based on the film An American in Paris many years ago, though that’s another story.

Rather like the Royal Ballet’s , Ferri’s unexpected retirement was explained by her family commitments and the desire to be a full-time mum. And, like Bussell, who returned to London from Australia after suffering from depression having abandoned her body, career and city, Ferri says,

My children have given me their full support… They prefer to see me happy, even if less present, rather than be unmotivated, waiting at home for them. They grew up between dressing rooms and photographic studios believing that my life, and that of Fabrizio, was like a party; but they also witnessed the dedication, work and concentration needed to achieve excellence.

And of The Piano Upstairs? A way to exorcise the separation from your husband?

The separation from Fabrizio was immensely painful. But when things in life change drastically, you need to overcome them with faith in life, and look ahead. I find strength by following the talent I was born with.

Love with a capital ‘L’ never ends, it transforms, and if you recognise that it will continue to grow. That’s what ties us together. I hope to set a good example for my daughters.


  1. Julianne says

    I respect Ferri, love her dancing, but if she wanted to become a mother full-time, why didn’t she stop dancing when the children were born?

  2. John the dancer says

    Alessandra must have stopped dancing before she was ready. There are thousands of reasons for this that we’re not privy to, but it seems that women too often feel guilty about following a career and, children or not, fall back on stereotype role models. We should not judge her choices, but a demotivated mother is not healthy for children; welcome back Alessandra!

  3. julie caprio says

    I am thrilled that Alessandra Ferri will dance again. It is a new age of people dancing longer, restarting careers, there is so much for all of us to learn about ourselves and others. BRAVA!!!

    • dogwood says

      Yes, in Cheri, I saw her dan­cing full of heart within five meters away. Can you ima­gine how mar­velous and touchy exper­i­ence it was…?

  4. Johnny Kariono says

    Great idea Alessandra…When you such an Artist,,you just can dance and give us emotions in any kind of roles right for your time and age…! 50 is nothing for a great Artist…!!

  5. Alberto says

    I married a ballerina less famous than Alessandra but very good in dancing and performing. We were in USA when we saw Alessandra at ABT playing Romeo and Juliet. She was amazing as always. I completed my PhD program and she her studies at Steps, Alvin Ailey school and get a certificate at Zine Roomete Technique.

    We returned to Italy and build a family. After a while I saw her unhappy even if she never said a world. She found every possibility to be out of our home. Leaving in the morning and return late at night. It was clear that she wasn’t born to be just a mother (we have two children, 10 and 14 years old) or a wife. At the end this December she ask me to divorce. I knew that that day would be arrived sooner or later but I wasn’t ready to leave her and I am still suffering just because I know that our story could have been wonderful but maybe not for her, just for me and my childrens.

    Finally she went back to dance , happy (perhaps) faith in life, and look ahead and find strength by fol­low­ing her tal­ent she was born with. I really hope that what Alessandra said could be true also for us: “Love with a cap­ital ‘L’ never ends, it trans­forms, and if you recog­nise that it will con­tinue to grow. That’s what ties us together. I hope to set a good example for my daughters.”


  6. says

    Wishing Ballerina Alesandra Ferri every happiness as she resumes her Dance career. Having followed Ms.Ferri’s career, I will look forward to seeing her develop new roles. I am dancing at 51 years old after being a Special Education Teacher for 24 years. To live fully and chase a dream is a great gift. Hopefully her family will share in her work. Food luck Ms. Ferri!!!

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