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Ángel Corella, one of the leading dancers of his generation.
8 November 1975: Birth of Spanish dancer Ángel Corella
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8 November 1975: Birth of Spanish dancer Ángel Corella

The renowned dancer is the only Spaniard to have achieved the position of principal dancer with The American Ballet Theatre

Tony Bryant

Friday, 8 November 2019, 15:42

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Considered one of the leading dancers of his generation, Spanish ballet sensation Ángel Corella was born in Madrid on 8 November 1975. His dancing career began when he was spotted by celebrated Russian ballerina Natalia Makarova, who recommended the youngster be auditioned for the America Ballet Theatre. He was accepted into the ABT as a soloist in 1995 and by the following year had worked his way up to the rank of principal dancer. Corella is the only Spanish dancer in history to have achieved the position.

He trained with some of the top dancers of the era, including Víctor Ullate, former artistic director of the Ballet Nacional de España. At the age of 16, Corella won first prize in the National Ballet Competition of Spain, and three years later, triumphed once again at the Concours International de Danse de Paris.

He has worked with some of the greatest ballet dancers of the 20th century and has also performed as a guest artist for numerous prestigious companies, including The Royal Ballet in London, the Scala Ballet in Milan and with the Kirov Ballet in St Petersburg.

In 2006, Corella established Kings of the Dance, a show with which he collaborated with world-class dancers from The Royal Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet. Corella took the show to Russia the following year, performing to sellout audiences in the Moscow and St Petersburg. He also formed Ángel Corella and stars of American Ballet, a group with which he performed throughout Spain for seven years.

In April 2008, Corella established the Corella Ballet in Castilla y León, the first classical ballet company in Spain in 20 years: in 2012, the company moved to Barcelona and became the Barcelona Ballet. The company has received high acclaim and has gained a large following both in Spain and in the rest of the world.

Upon his retirement from the American Ballet Theatre in 2012, Corella received a 20-minute standing ovation from a sellout audience at the Metropolitan Opera House.

The following year, he made his debut at the Paris Opera House; while in July 2016, he was appointed artistic director of the Pennsylvanian Ballet.

Corella is renowned for encouraging young dancers: he is a regular judge on Spanish reality show Mira Quien Baila and has also taught at the Royal Ballet School in London.

His popularity has seen him appear in advertisements for Rolex and alongside Gwyneth Paltrow for the big-budget Christmas commercial for Freixenet: he has also featured several times on the cover of The New York Times -who described him as 'a force of nature'.

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