Alina Cojocaru is to join English National Ballet from next season. Her debut will be in the Company’s new restaging of “Le Corsaire”. She will dance the role of the heroine Medora on the opening night in Milton Keynes (October 17). She will also appear in “Nutcracker” in the Christmas season at the London Coliseum, “Lest We Forget”, the programme of ballets inspired by the Great War at the Barbican, London, in April 2014 and “Romeo & Juliet” in-the-round at the Royal Albert Hall in June.

Speaking of her new role, Cojocaru said: “I am very excited to be joining English National Ballet next season. I am attracted by the opportunities the repertoire offers, the combination of the classics and the chance to work with choreographers I really admire. I have always enjoyed dancing and performing in the UK and am delighted that English National Ballet will give me the chance to reach new audiences outside London. Not shy of challenges, I look forward to what the future might bring. Sharing Tamara’s passion for the art form and for artistry, I am excited about what lies ahead.”

Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of English National Ballet said: “I am so happy to welcome Alina to the Company. She is one of the dancers I most admire. Her exquisite technique, dramatic qualities and artistry have been a constant inspiration to many, including me. I know that the dancers in the Company will be thrilled to have an artist of her stature join us and I am sure that we can give Alina the artistic challenges and opportunities she seeks.”

Cojacaru will join the Company as Lead Principal. She will continue to make guest appearances with Hamburg Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, two companies with which she has an established relationship.