Alessandra Ferri

(b. 1963)

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(b Milan, 6 May 1963)

Italian dancer. She studied at the ballet school of Teatro La Scala (1974–8) and at the Royal Ballet School (1979–80). In 1980 she joined the Royal Ballet, becoming principal in 1983. An instinctively dramatic dancer with a tiny, flexible physique she excelled in the MacMillan repertoire, creating roles in his Valley of Shadows (1983), The Seven Deadly Sins (television version, 1983), and A Different Drummer (1984). In 1985, she starred in Zeffirelli's production of Swan Lake in Milan and in the same year joined American Ballet Theatre as principal where apart from a leave of absence (1995–7) she remained until retiring from the stage in 2007. She danced both the classical and modern repertories and also guested abroad with National Ballet of Canada, Balletto Argentino, and, most regularly, at La Scala where she was named prima ballerina assoluta. She created roles in Petit's Le Diable amoureux (Ballet National de Marseille, 1989), Maillot's In Flight (American Ballet Theatre, 1997) among others and also appeared on television and in film, notably Dancers (dir. Ross, 1987).

Subjects: Dance.

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