Issue #40

Alessandra Ferri


Alessandra Ferri was born in Milan, Italy. She began studying ballet at the La Scala Theatre Ballet School, later transferring to the upper school of the Royal Ballet School. She represented the Royal Ballet School in the 1980 Prix de Lausanne, winning a scholarship which enabled her to continue studying at the school. Ferri joined the Royal Ballet in 1980 and in 1982, for her first major role in the ballet “Mayerling”, she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding First Achievement of the Year in Ballet. In 1983, she was nominated for and won the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Individual Performance of the Year in a New Dance Production for her role in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s “Valley of Shadows”. In 1984, she was promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer. In 1985, Ferri left the Royal Ballet at the request of Mikhail Baryshnikov to become a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre, under Baryshnikov’s own direction. She stated that she needed a more rigorous training program that the company could provide. In 2007 she brought Roberto Bolle to dance opposite her in her farewell performance of “Romeo and Juliet”. In 1992, Ferri became a Guest Star of American Ballet Theatre and began a very close collaboration with La Scala Theatre Ballet, becoming recognized as Prima Ballerina Assoluta of the company. She retired in 2007 and returned to dance in 2013, starring in The Piano Upstairs at Spoleto. Performances since have included Lea for Signature Theatre, The Raven for Gotham Chamber Opera and in Woolf Works with Royal Ballet.

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What do you do in your life (work and fun)?

I dance. It is my passion, my dream, my life, my path, my mission… so I have fun working.

What made you leave Italy and chose NYC?

I left italy at 15 yrs old, I was living in London dancing at Convent Garden. I came to New York invited by Baryshnikov to dance with him.

Please share your best memory in the City.

In 30 years I have so many, and hopefully so many more to come…

What made you choose this specific location and outfit?

It is my home and I always choose the easiest thing.

Your thought about this project, ITALIANY.US

We continue to contribute to the history of this city and this project establishes it.

How would you describe being an ambassador of the italian style/culture abroad?

Although my roots and spirit are originally italian, I have to thanks more than one country for my artistic formation. Ideally I experience myself as an ambassador of dance.

  • Manhattan, NY


  • Time

    150 mins

  • Shots


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A visual celebration of Italians working, living and loving in NY and in the US