Alessandra Ferri is an Italian Prima Ballerina Assoluta. She danced with the Royal Ballet from 1980–1984, American Ballet Theatre from 1985–2007, La Scala Theatre Ballet from 1992–2007 and as an international guest artist, before retiring on August 10, 2007.
She was born in Milan, Italy and began studying ballet at Scuola di Ballo del Teatro alla Scala (La Scala Theatre Ballet School). She later transferring to the Upper School of the Royal Ballet School, whom 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 joined American Ballet Theatre at the request of Mikhail Baryshnikov as a Principal Dancer under Baryshnikov’s own direction. In 1992, Ferri became a Guest Artist of American Ballet Theatre and began a very close collaboration with La Scala Theatre Ballet, becoming recognized as Prima Ballerina Assoluta of the company. In 2007 she brought Roberto Bolle to dance opposite her in her farewell performance of Romeo and Juliet.
Ferri recently completed a successful Broadway run of Martha Clarke’s Chéri with Herman Cornejo and Amy Irving that will begin an international tour in the Fall of 2014.