News: Alexandra Ansanelli leaves Royal Ballet

Thursday 7 May 2009

The American ballerina, Alexandra Ansanelli, currently a Principal with the Royal Ballet, has made a surprise announcement that she is retiring from dance altogether at the end of the current season. Just 28, Ansanelli believes that this is the right time to do something else with her life. I’ve been devoted to ballet for fifteen years and while I’ve had an amazing career as a ballerina, I feel that I have so much more to do. I need to grow as a woman”, she said. In 2005 she left New York City Ballet in a similar manner with no alternative job offer in sight, joining the Royal Ballet six months’ later.

Alexandra has taken this courageous plunge again, having not yet decided what she will do although she’s certain that her future lies in the USA. She may go to College; she may stay in the Arts, although she will definitely take a break from ballet for a good while, as she says, “to get some perspective”. The steely determination that took her to the very top of world ballet as a Principal in both New York and here in London, would certainly translate into strong entrepreneurial skills.

She takes part in an ‘In Conversation’ session in the Clore Studio at the Royal Opera House on 11 May, which was scheduled before she made her decision to retire.

She has nine more performances here in the UK, three apiece in the new Alastair Marriott ballet, Sensorium (19, 29 & 30 May), *Ondine* (27 May, 1 & 6 June) and her rousing Rubies episode from Balanchine’s *Jewels* (9, 12 & 16 June), concluding her London career on 16 June. She will then be part of the Royal Ballet’s tour to Washington and Cuba in the summer before hanging those pointe shoes up for good.


Report by Graham Watts

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