Q&A with Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of the ENB
posted on Friday, 26th April 2013 | find under Nutrition
As part of our collaboration with the English National Ballet, Sweaty Betty got a chance to catch up with Artistic Director Tamara Rojo. We asked questions and she answered. Here's what we learned.
Tell us about your background with dancing from how you began to where you are today.
When I was 19 years old, I won the gold medal at the Paris International Dance competition, which was judged by some of the most important figures in the dance world. Despite having performed in many competitions, this was the first time that I was recognised as an up-and-coming talent. Two years later I was offered my first contract as a principal dancer with Scottish Ballet.
When I was 22, I moved to English National Ballet as a Principal soloist and was promoted to Principal very soon after. I joined the Royal Ballet in 2000, after performing as Giselle at short notice when Darcey Bussell became injured. Since then I have performed all the principal roles in Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Don Quixote and The Nutcracker. I left the Royal Ballet following my appointment as Artistic Director for English National Ballet in 2012.
What is a typical day for you at English National Ballet?
I train 6 days a week, getting up at 7.20am to travel to work. I have Pilates at 8am, a catch up with my assistant at 9.30am before class at 10.15am. After nearly three hours of rehearsals, I am back at my desk to catch up on emails and attend meetings about forthcoming repertoire and touring, among other things.
Tell us about your work with the dancers.
As a dancer, I understand and empathise with the highs and lows, the elations and struggles that we dancers feel and face in order to fulfill this dream. As an Artistic Director, I have an ultimate responsibility of care to my dancers – and together with my Artistic Staff we aim to help them achieve their goals.
What is your advice for budding dancers trying to break into the industry?
I see many talented dancers and many ambitious dancers, but the ones that succeed are the ones with the strongest work ethic. A dancers’ career is short, so you must welcome and pursue every opportunity.