6 May 2018

Alessandra Ferri – ballerina

Dancing star who believes age is a matter of attitude

Alessandra Ferri made a comeback in opera six years after her 'retirement'
Alessandra Ferri made a comeback in ballet
six years after her 'retirement'
Prima ballerina assoluta Alessandra Ferri, who retired in 2007 but then made a triumphant return to ballet in 2013, celebrates her 55th birthday today.

She is scheduled to dance at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York later this month, at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow at the beginning of June, at Hamburg Staatsoper at the end of June, at the Ravello Festival in Italy in July and in Tokyo in August.

In a recent newspaper interview, Ferri said she was happy to be breaking barriers as an older woman in a youth-dominated world. She said she still has full confidence in her abilities and believes ageing is largely an attitude and her advice to other women of her age is ‘to keep moving’.

Ferri was born on May 6, 1963 in Milan and began studying ballet at La Scala Theatre Ballet School. She moved to the upper school of the Royal Ballet School in London, where she won a scholarship that enabled her to continue studying there.

She joined the Royal Ballet in 1980 and won the Laurence Olivier Award for her first major role in 1982. She was promoted to the rank of principal dancer in 1983.

Ferri became principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikow in 1985.

Ferri in a production of Remeo and Juliet in 2016
Ferri in a production of Remeo and Juliet in 2016
She began a close association with La Scala Theatre Ballet in 1992, becoming recognised as prima ballerina assoluta of the company, but she remained a guest star of the American Ballet Theatre. 'Prima ballerina assoluta' is a title awarded to the most notable of female ballet dancers of their generation and is a rare honour.

Ferri has appeared at the top venues for ballet all over the world and has performed with the leading male dancers, including Rudolf Nureyev in Los Angeles on the occasion of his 50th birthday in 1988.

She married the photographer, Fabrizio Ferri, with whom she had two daughters.

Since her return from retirement, Ferri has danced roles in Italy and at the Royal Ballet and Royal Opera House in London. After her birthday celebrations today she has a packed schedule of appearances for the rest of the year.

The entrance to Villa Rufolo is off the main scare in Ravello
The entrance to Villa Rufolo is off
the main scare in Ravello
Travel tip:

Alessandra Ferri will dance on July 7 at the Belvedere di Villa Rufolo in Ravello for the town’s 2018 music and arts festival. The Villa Rufolo, dating from the 13th century, overlooks the cathedral square of Ravello, a town perched high above the dramatic Amalfi Coast.

Travel tip:

La Scala Theatre Ballet School, where Alessandra Ferri studied, was founded in 1813 in association with the international ballet company based at Teatro alla Scala in Milan. The theatre is in Piazza della Scala in the centre of the city across the road from the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an elegant arcade lined with cafes, shops and restaurants, built to link Piazza della Scala with Piazza del Duomo, Milan’s cathedral square.


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