News: Jonathan Cope

Wednesday 4 January 2006

The Royal Ballet have announced that Jonathan Cope will not be dancing his last scheduled performances of *The Firebird* on 6 and 23 February 2006. He was involved in a road accident on Tuesday 3 January and sustained a broken left leg. His injuries require surgery and a long period of recuperation.

It was also announced this week that Jonathan Cope will now join the artistic staff of The Royal Ballet as a Répétiteur. A graduate of the Royal Ballet Schools, Cope spent his entire career, spanning three decades, with The Royal Ballet dancing all the major principal roles in the repertoire.

Speaking last year when he announced his retirement Jonathan Cope said:

‘I consider myself fortunate to have enjoyed such a long dancing career. I feel privileged to have worked in an era that included both Ashton and MacMillan. I have many fond memories to take with me especially those of partnering many of the world’s finest ballerinas. In particular, my long partnership with Sylvie Guillem and the bond we formed on the stage is something I will always cherish. It was always my intention to stop dancing while I was still able to perform at a high level and, having spent my entire career with the Company, I feel I understand many of the elements that give The Royal Ballet its unique reputation. I am therefore glad to remain part of the Company and, hopefully, pass on some of what I’ve learnt to the future generation of dancers.’

Monica Mason, Director of The Royal Ballet commented:

‘Jonathan has made an enormous contribution to The Royal Ballet. In his early career, in addition to developing fast as a fine classical dancer, he also developed a particular talent as a partner. Throughout his career his dedication, discipline and integrity as an artist has enabled him to maintain a consistently high standard of performance that has made him the perfect role model for aspiring young dancers. In the final phase of his career he was able to fully realise his dramatic talent in some particularly distinguished performances as Prince Rudolf in Mayerling.

I, along with so many members of the audience, will miss him greatly as a performer but I welcome him as the newest member of the Company’s artistic staff and look forward to having his help in developing the next generation of dancers. Having trained at the Royal Ballet School and coming all the way through the Company’s ranks, I know that Jonathan completely understands where the heart of The Royal Ballet lies.’

The role of Ivan Tsarevitch at these performances will now be performed by Valeri Hristov.

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