Ready for his adieu: A beloved dancer reflects

June 28, 2012 • Entertainment

This undated image released by the American Ballet Theatre shows Alina Cojocaru, left, and Spanish dancer Angel Corella in “Giselle,” in New York. After 17 years with ABT, Corella bids farewell this week to his many U.S. fans with one final performance of “Swan Lake.” He is retiring from ABT to focus on the Barcelona Ballet, the company he founded and directs in Spain. (AP Photo/ABT, Gene Schiavone)

NEW YORK (AP) — In the ballet world, they call him the charming one. In fact, the word “charming” is used so often to describe Angel Corella, American Ballet Theatre’s dashing Spanish star, that it seems to have become part of his name.

But anyone seeking to disprove the thesis that Corella, now 36, is eternally charming will be sorely disappointed by sitting down with him. His famously sunny smile is in ready supply. He speaks with abundant generosity of the many ballerinas he’s partnered. And he seems to be in awe of the 17-year ABT career that he’s been privileged to have — and is about to end.

On Thursday, in what will surely be the emotional high point of the New York ballet season, Corella will dance one final time with ABT — in “Swan Lake” — before returning to Spain to focus full-time on the company he founded and directs, Barcelona Ballet.

He will continue to dance, for now, with his own company. But Thursday will also be the last time, he says, that he dances a full-length ballet.

What? No more Romeos, no more Siegfrieds in “Swan Lake,” Albrechts in “Giselle,” or Basilios in “Don Quixote”?

“I think it’s good to close a chapter, and not leave it vague,” Corella says, relaxing in between rehearsals in a lounge at the Metropolitan Opera House. “I think it’s better to say this is it.”

Looking at Corella in his jeans and hoodie, it’s hard to imagine he’s 36. Dancers always seem to look younger than their age, and Corella has an especially Login to read more

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