Protest at the Romanian Opera. Danish choreographer resigns amid row with interim leadership

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Alina Cojocaru, the most known Romanian ballerina, together with other dancers from the corps, staged a protest in front of the Romanian Opera in Bucharest to show their support for the Danish choreographer Johan Kobborg, the author of the latest opera performances. He was involved in a conflict with the Opera’s interim management and resigned over it. However, his resignation affected the shows and due to the scandal, Alina Cojocaru couldn’t rehearse and didn’t star anymore in any performances at the Opera.

Johan Kobborg explained his resignation on Facebook; he said he resigns from “any inept positions” with the ballet company of the Romanian Opera in Bucharest after the new interim director of the Opera, Vlad Conta, would have asked him and Alina Cojocaru ‘to lie in plain sight.’

The foreign dancers rallied Kobborg and informed they would also go.

ALina Cojocaru said that there were moments when Johan Kobborg was paying certain performances with his money. “He was paying from his own pocket. If you think Johan Kobborg is in Romania for money, you should think one more time,” she said, adding that she will not tread the board at ONB if the situation continues to be like that.

On the other hand, other employees of the Opera came to support conductor Tiberiu Soare, the current artistic director of the Opera, the one who stirred the anger of the Danish choreographer in the first place. Kobborg’s opponents booed the Danish choreographer’s supporters, denouncing that most of them are foreign dancers paid much better than the Romanian artists.

The Romanian dancers have wages from RON 1,000 to RON 2,ooo. Mr. Kobborg earns EUR 7,300. He made his team only with foreigners, the Romanians are sidelined at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest,” said Cristina Cotescu, director at the Opera, as quoted by Digi24.

The Kobborg-Soare row broke out last week, right after the conductor had been appointed as the interim director. Soare asked that Johan Kobborg should be removed from the Opera’s website as the artistic director of the corps, arguing that the position doesn’t exist in the institution’s organizational chart. In retort, Kobborg threatened to resign.

The row has been temporarily fixed up by the Culture minister, meaning that Tiberiu Soare stayed only as the deputy director, while the main manager was named another conductor, Vlad Conta. Kobborg eventually got the corps’ artistic manager position, especially created for him, but things have degenerated later on. Alina Cojocaru didn’t dance in the show she was supposed to perform, while Kobborg resigned.

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