English National Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Dancer
Principal Ballerina with the Royal Ballet 2000 – 2012 who has received international acclaim for her outstanding technique, captivating acting skills, and brilliant artistry in a wide spectrum of classical and contemporary roles.
A Master of Scenic Arts and Bachelor of Dance graduate from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid, she first trained at Victor Ullate’ s School and then with David Howard, Renato Paroni, Alexander Agadzhanov, and Loipa Araujo.
While training with Victor Ullate, Tamara danced with the Ballet de la Comunidad de Madrid in an extensive repertoire that embodied her Spanish roots and challenged her amazing classical technique. She also performed many works specially choreographed for her by Mr. Ullate. In 1994, she dazzled the ballet world by winning both a Gold Medal at the Paris International Dance Competition, and a Special Jury Award unanimously given by a judging panel whose members included Natalia Makarova, Vladimir Vassiliev, and Galina Samsova. Tamara left her native Spain in 1996 when she was invited by Ms. Samsova to join the Scottish National Ballet. With SNB, Tamara danced the principal roles in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, La Sylphide, and Cranko’ s Romeo and Juliet.
After dancing with the SNB, she joined the English National Ballet in 1997, and immediately began dancing the full range of principal roles for the company, including Swan Lake, Paquita, Coppelia, Glen Tetley’s The Sphinx and Voluntaries, and Michael Corder’s Cinderella. ENB Artistic Director Derek Deane also created the roles of Juliet (Romeo and Juliet) and Clara (The Nutcracker) for Tamara. Her performances as Clara broke attendance records at the London Coliseum and, in 1997, the London Times named Tamara “Dance Revelation of the Year”.
In 2000, Sir Anthony Dowell asked Tamara to dance Giselle with the Royal Ballet as a guest artist. Shortly after her Covent Garden debut (well-received by both critics and audience), Sir Anthony invited Tamara to join the Royal Ballet as a principal dancer.
In April 2012 Tamara Rojo was appointed as director and Principal Dancer of the English National Ballet.
Tamara has been repeatedly recognised for her artistic excellence. Her awards include Spain’s two highest honours – The Prince of Asturias Arts Award (2005) and the Spanish Gold Medal of Fine Arts (2002), Benois de la danse 2008, Medalla Internacional de las Artes de la Comunidad de Madrid 2008, Villa de Madrid 2007, Leonide Massine’s “Premio al Valore” (2004), London’s Critics’ Circle Dance Award (2002), Italian Critics’ Award (1996), and Paris International Dance Competition’ s Gold Medal and Special Jury Award (1994).
PRINCIPAL ROLES (AND WHAT CRITICS HAVE WRITTEN)
The Sleeping Beauty
“Rojo’s composure and command of the stage are complete” – Debra Craine (The Times, March 19, 2008) “Rojo’s reading of the role of Aurora is at once restrained and spectacular” – Luke Jennings (The Observer, March 23, 2008) “But Rojo’s performance made me glamade me glad to be alive and the final closing pose does bring a lump to the throat at the magnificence of the art.” (Bruce Marriott, Ballet.co.uk. March 25, 08)
“rivals the unerring musical sensibilities of Violette Verdy for whom it was first made. It is the finest thing in the evening” - Clement Crisp (Financial Times, November 26, 2007) “Tamara Rojo fills the work with a kind of rapture” – Sarah Crompton (Daily Telegraph, November 26, 2007) “Emeralds cast was led by Tamara Rojo, as sleek and feline as a young Elizabeth Taylor” – Luke Jennings (The Observer, December 2, 2007)
“the most breathtakingly beautiful I’d seen in years” – Ellen Dunkel (Philadelphia Enquirer, July 7, 2007) “(in) the double role of Odette-Odile . . . Rojo has the superlative technique and poetic imagination to build a compelling picture of this eerie creature – bird, woman, queen and prisoner” – Ismeme Brown (Daily Telegraph, January 4, 2005) “a dancer of enormous strength and proficiency” – Debra Craine (The Times, December 27, 2004)
“Her brilliance lay in the spiritual grace with which she caressed the air” – Mark Monahan (Daily Telegraph, October 8, 2007)
Romeo and Juliet
“a superlative Juliet, . . .she reminds me so much of Fonteyn” – David Dougill (The Sunday Times, November 19, 2006)
“Rojo’s reading, so fluent, so easy, so musical and so lustrously drawn in dance, gives the role something even more compelling than did Fonteyn” – Clement Crisp (Financial Times, April 21, 2005) “Like Fonteyn, she’s both sprite and siren, innocently seductive” – Jann Parry (The Observer, April 24, 2005)
Rite of Spring
“compelling, with a rare gift for internalising the essence of each ballet.” – Judith Mackrell (The Guardian, February 4, 2008) “a remarkable performance in a remarkable piece” – Sarah Crompton (Daily Telegraph, April 2, 2008)
“Tamara Rojo has charisma and superb skills.” – Sally Cragin (Boston Globe, June 16, 2006)
“display of classical quality backed by fabulous strength” – Debra Craine (The Times, January 13, 2006)
“a ravishing interpretation, and reminds us of the beauties of classic dance” – Clement Crisp (Financial Times, December 23, 2004)
“Rojo is an avid, lavish Mary, with a sweeping quality of movement” – Zoe Anderson (Independent, March 19, 2004)
Tamara has starred in principal roles with The Kirov Ballet, La Scala Ballet, Tokyo Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Ballet Deustsche Opera Berlin, National Ballet of China, Zurich Ballet, Lithuanian Ballet, and Balletto Argentino. She has also performed at the prestigious World Ballet Festival in Tokyo (2003 and 2006) and many international Galas throughout Europe and the Americas. In 2005, first in Bilbao and then in Madrid, Tamara starred in the world premiere of Snow White (Blanca Nieves), created for her by choreographer Ricardo Cué with original musical score by famed Spanish composer and conductor Emilio Aragón. In late 2007, Deutsche Grammophon released a DVD of Blanca Nieves.