On 13th April, the English National Ballet announced Tamara Rojo’s appointment as their new Artistic Director.

The Spanish prima ballerina was recently described by British broadsheet, The Telegraph, as fiery and outspoken, yet articulate, funny and clever. She will formally take over from current Director, Wayne Eagling, in September of this year. Fans of the ENB will be hoping that her passion, determination and flair will revitalise the somewhat flagging ballet company to its former glory.

Currently a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet in London, Rojo will turn 38 next month. Although born in Canada, her Spanish parents moved back to Spain when she was four months old. At five years old, Rojo started taking dancing lessons and was so talented that by the age of eleven she was already studying dance full time at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid.

Rojo started her professional career with the Ballet de la Comunidad de Madrid. In 1996 she left her native Spain to join the Scottish Ballet and the following year was invited to join the English National Ballet as a principal dancer. In 2000 the prestigious Royal Ballet in London asked her take over from the injured Darcey Bussell as guest principal and Rojo has remained with this troupe ever since.

Many esteemed choreographers and directors have created ballets and written roles especially for Rojo over the years, including Richardo Cue, Derek Deane, Deborah Macmillan and Victor Ullate. She is famed for her entrancing and original interpretations in ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Snow White, The Nutcracker, Coppelia and Cinderella.

The recipient of many awards and prizes, Rojo was presented with the Medalla de Oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes by the King of Spain in 2002. More recently, she won an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production for ‘Goldberg: The Brandstrup-Rojo Project’ with choreographer Kim Brandstrup.

Critics and commentators are hoping that Tamara Rojo will rejuvenate the image of the ENB, one of the four most important dance companies in the UK. Her responsibilities will include designing and leading the 2013 touring season in such a way as to inspire new audiences across the UK.

In a statement released to coincide with the news of her appointment, Rojo said: “I am particularly excited about working with young British choreographers, building strong relationships with our audiences in the regions, and exploring opportunities across other art forms.”

Rojo intends to continue dancing and will perform with the ENB in 2013, while also honouring her membership on the boards of several art organisations, such as Arts Council East, Dance UK, ICA and the Anglo-Spanish Society.

Photos courtesy of: www.tamara-rojo.com