Jul 112013

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg 500x375 So tonite I lost it: Johan Kobborgs heartbreaking departure from the Royal Ballet has given his last per­form­ance with the , in Tokyo. The last per­form­ance was due to have been tomor­row even­ing for the open­ing of but he and can­celled. Yes­ter­day, announced:

Fri­day will see the first of five per­form­ances of Swan Lake, although unfor­tu­nately Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kob­borg announced today they will not be per­form­ing the lead­ing roles on Fri­day evening.

So  and Roberta Mar­quez will take over. How­ever a state­ment from Cojocaru and Kob­borg accom­pan­ied the announcement:

We are very sorry and sad not to be per­form­ing our sched­uled per­form­ance of Swan Lake with the Com­pany. Unfor­tu­nately, due to our recent injur­ies, although recov­er­ing well, we are still unable to meet the phys­ical demands that Swan Lake spe­cific­ally requires.  We both love per­form­ing in and look for­ward to appear­ing back here soon.

Maybe this has some­thing to do with the heart­break­ing mes­sage that Kob­borg pos­ted on Face­book from his mobile last night:

Wow. So ton­ite I lost it. I cried. Not after cur­tain down, as I only felt good vibes from col­leagues and Tokyo audi­ence, but later in my dress­ing room.

My Boss stuck his head in through the door, said well done, asked how I felt, and not to be a stranger in the future. Then left, not a single hug or even a hand­shake… That was it…

Con­sid­er­ing I am leav­ing on good terms, after 13 yrs of being a prin­cipal at RB, and doing pro­duc­tions for the com­pany, I can only ima­gine, how people leav­ing because of argu­ments would have their send off.. Feel bad for the other 3 dan­cers shar­ing my dress room to see me lose it like that.

The Tokyo pro­du­cer wanted to book a taxi for me in the early morn­ing to take me to the air­port, just like when I arrived, but as a final appre­ci­ation from RB they refused and has given me tick­ets for the pub­lic air­port trans­fer bus. Thank you RB man­age­ment for some beau­ti­ful times over the last + dec­ade, may I never ( dan­cers excluded) have to ever meet you again.

So that was it. After yesterday’s Royal Gala in Tokyo, Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kob­borg have danced with the Royal Bal­let for the last time.


Photo: Twit­ter photo of  Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kob­borg at their hotel.

  10 Responses to “So tonite I lost it: Johan Kobborg’s heartbreaking departure from the Royal Ballet”

  1. although I see his side… I don‘t think he real­izes what the Royal Bal­let has to deal with here… They‘re both very big stars here in Japan. Fans have bought tick­ets months ago to see their farewell Swan Lake per­form­ance. Prob­ably a lot of the pub­li­city has been done around this event.… and they can­cel (not unusual for them…) I‘m sure Royal Bal­let offi­cials had some­thing spe­cial planned for cel­eb­rat­ing this but I can under­stand they didn‘t feel very com­pas­sion­ate and kind towards him in his dress­ing room. he just goes back to the hotel, they have to deal with all the bad things around their cancellation…

    • It cer­tainly seems odd that it didn’t occur to them before that these injur­ies would make it dif­fi­cult to con­front the Swan Lake roles?

      There is obvi­ously far more behind this than meets the eye, but I would say O’Hare’s civil but cold good­bye could have been the res­ult of a couple of days of panic recast­ing — after all, they are on tour and sub­sti­tut­ing is far more com­plex when all the com­pany are not around. Maybe the hug will come later, when O’Hare has man­aged to sort out the Tokyo mess.

      • I think what kind of shocked me the most is in the mes­sage it says the announce­ment was made on Wed­nes­day that they wouldn‘t be dan­cing the open­ing per­form­ance of Swan Lake Fri­day night… fair enough.… Thursday they already had their tick­ets to fly back to Lon­don?… and expect­ing a taxi as if the world stopped turn­ing for them? I think the tour pro­moters as well as people from the Royal Bal­let had other things to think about than them at that time. Not to men­tion, know­ing how those 2 stars are loved in Japan, there was surely some­thing VERY grand organ­ized for their farewell per­form­ance tonight. I‘m really not sure they are still in touch with real­ity. The aud­it­or­ium will be filled with ador­ing fans (most schools I go to for bal­let mas­ter­classes and coach­ing have their pic­tures on their stu­dio walls and there are bal­let schools at almost every street corners you can eas­ily ima­gine how quickly tick­ets sold out for that par­tic­u­lar per­form­ance… thank god Steven McRae is also adored here..)

        As you said, I think there is much more hid­den behind all this

  2. spoilt chil­dren can’t even organ­ise their own trans­port to air­port — if they want someone to organ­ise things for them get an agent — but then they would have to pay someone!

    • well for many years they have been treated like roy­alty both by the pub­lic and their own employ­ers (not to men­tion by com­pan­ies who invited them), they didn‘t have to lift a fin­ger when on tour (espe­cially in Japan) so of course it must be quite a down­fall to have to take a coach to the air­port… but I‘m sure they didn‘t travel eco­nomy
      Live the life of the com­mon people.… you‘ll see …it sucks!

  3. An extraordin­ary account. If I were those who have com­men­ted above, I would be ashamed of what I have writ­ten about Kob­borg — one of the world’s finest dan­cers being treated appallingly is not accept­able. As for the drivel from Guy-Paul, it is not even worthy of com­ment, although I note he writes under his full…ahem…aristocratic name.… sour grapes dear?

    • well at least I am not using a screen name..
      I never said they were not great dan­cers. I just com­men­ted on what was hap­pen­ing and how his reac­tion was not tak­ing into account the real situ­ation their last minute defec­tion put the com­pany in.
      Being great dan­cers doesn‘t excuse everything.

      Thanks for the message

    • It doesn’t seem that he was treated appallingly, only coldly. In the light of yesterday’s news with Cojocaru join­ing the ENB, there were many things going on behind the scenes which O’Hare must have known about and that, coupled with the head­aches of last minute can­cel­la­tions, could have explain his formal good­bye. Nor do I con­sider ‘drivel’ the words of Guy-Paul who obvi­ously has first-hand know­ledge of the pop­ular­ity these dan­cers have in Japan, and there­fore the dis­ap­point­ment caused to the most enthu­si­astic (and wealthy) bal­let audi­ences in the world.

  4. I agree with Guy-Paul de St Germain.Also as an exper­en­cied dan­cer he should had been more pro­fes­sional about the situation.I lost respect for Johan unfortunelly…

  5. Not dif­fi­cult to see why the RB could not appoint him AD.

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