Tamara Rojo CBE - Artistic Director / Lead Principal
Tamara Rojo was appointed Artistic Director of English National Ballet in 2012. She combines with her dancing career, performing as Lead Principal with the Company.
Trained in Madrid at the Victor Ullate School, she started dancing professionally at 17 with Ballet Victor Ullate.
She received the Gold Medal and the Special Jury Prize at the 1994 Paris International Dance Competition resulting in an invitation from Galina Samsova, one of the judges, to join Scottish Ballet in 1996, where she danced the principal roles in Swan Lake, Cranko’s Romeo & Juliet and Bournonville´s La Sylphide.
Upon joining English National Ballet (1997), within six months, she was promoted to Principal. She danced the full range of the Company’s repertoire of principal roles. Deane created the roles of Juliet (Romeo & Juliet) and Clara (The Nutcracker) for her. Her performances as Clara broke all box office records at the London Coliseum and The Times named her “Dance Revelation of the Year” in 1997. She collaborated once again with Deane and English National Ballet for the creation of Strictly Gershwin at the Royal Albert Hall in 2008 and 2011.
She made her guest artist debut with the Royal Ballet in Giselle and following the acclaim was invited by Sir Anthony Dowell to join the company as a Principal in 2000, where she stayed until 2012.
She has been a regular guest artist with The Mariinsky Ballet, La Scala Ballet, Tokyo Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, New National Tokyo Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, National Ballet of China, Lithuanian Ballet, Balletto Argentino, The Mikhailovsky Ballet, English National Ballet, The Royal Swedish Ballet and National Ballet of Finland and is frequently invited to dance at prestigious galas all over the world.
Her repertoire includes all the major roles in the classics as well as ballets by Macmillan, Ashton, Cranko, Makarova, Messerer, Kylian, Balanchine, Robbins, Fokine, Mats Ek, Van Mannen, Van Dantzig, Nils Christie, Roland Petit, Glen Tetley, Ben Stevenson, Lev Ivanov, Nureyev, Vassiliev, Alicia Alonso amongst others.
She has had works created on her by Derek Deane, Wayne McGregor, Kim Brandstrup, Liam Scarlett, Fei Bo, Christopher Hampson, Ricardo Cue, Christopher Bruce, Cathy Marston, Luca Veggetti and Victor Ullate.
Tamara has been repeatedly recognised for her artistic excellence. She won the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production with Goldberg: the Brandstrup- Rojo Project.
King Juan Carlos has decorated Tamara with Spain’s three highest Honours, The Prince of Asturias Award, the Gold Medal of Fine Arts and Encomienda de Número de Isabel la Católica.
She has also received the Kennedy Centre’s Gold Medal in the Arts 2012, Benois de la Danse Award, Critics’ Circle National Dance Award, Barclay’s Outstanding Achievement in Dance Award, Positano Dance Award, Leonide Massine Premio al Valore, the Italian Critic’s Award, and from the City of Madrid, both the International Medal of the Arts and the Interpretation Award.
She holds a Masters degree in Theatrical Arts and a Bachelors degree in Dance and Choreography from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid
She is on the Board of Dance UK, the Anglo-Spanish Society, a Patron of the Ipswich-based DanceEast Academy, Patron of the Flamingo Chicks and Adviser to Spain’s Superior Counsel of Artistic Studies.
In January 2016 Tamara Rojo became D.A. Magna Cum Laude, presenting her thesis ‘Psychological Profile of the Elite Dancer – Vocational Characteristics of the Professional Dancer’ at Rey Juan Carlos University and was awarded a CBE for her services to ballet in the Queen’s 2016 New Year’s Honours.