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Alessandra Ferri

Guest Artist


Alessandra Ferri in action.
Alessandra Ferri in Woolf Works. ©2015 ROH. Photograph by Tristram Kenton

Italian dancer Alessandra Ferri is a former Principal of The Royal Ballet. She trained at The Royal Ballet School and entered the Company in 1980, promoted to Soloist in 1983 and to Principal in 1984 aged 19. She left the Company in 1985, returning in 2003 to dance Juliet (Romeo and Juliet) as a Guest Artist. She returned in 2015 as a Guest Artist to create a role in Wayne McGregor’s Woolf Works, for which she was awarded the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Female Dancer and the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.

Ferri was born in Milan and trained first at La Scala Ballet School, Milan. She joined The Royal Ballet School aged 15, supported by a Prix de Lausanne scholarship. Her repertory with the Company included Juliet and Mary Vetsera (Mayerling), and role creations in ballets including L’Invitation au voyage, Valley of Shadows and Different Drummer. In 1985 she joined American Ballet Theatre on the invitation of Mikhail Baryshnikov and went on to form a famed dance partnership with Julio Bocca. From 1990 she appeared as a guest artist with leading companies around the world, and joined La Scala Ballet, Milan, as a guest principal in 1992, remaining with ABT as a guest principal.

Ferri temporarily retired from dancing in 2007 and the following year became Director of Programming at the Spoleto Festival. She returned to dance in 2013, starring in The Piano Upstairs, which she also choreographed, at Spoleto. Performances since have included Lea (Martha Clarke’s Chéri) for Signature Theatre and in Luca Veggetti’s The Raven for Gotham Chamber Opera. She was made a Cavaliere della Repubblica in 2006.


News and features

<em>Woolf Works</em> to be relayed live to cinemas on 8 February 2017

Woolf Works to be relayed live to cinemas on 8 February 2017

3 February 2017

Wayne McGregor’s stunning ballet, inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf, will be live on silver screens around the world.

Watch: <em>Woolf Works </em>Insight 2017

Watch: Woolf Works Insight 2017

11 January 2017

Find out how Wayne McGregor adapted Virginia Woolf's writings for ballet, and get a closer look at the choreography.

Ballet Essentials: Woolf Works

Ballet Essentials: Woolf Works

12 November 2016

Our quick guide to Wayne McGregor's first full-length ballet for The Royal Ballet, inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf.