English National Ballet 1 – Royal Ballet 0
After much speculation it transpires than none other than prima ballerina of The Royal Ballet Tamara Rojo will take on the role of Artistic Director at the English National Ballet this autumn. The news will be music to the ears of ENB dancers and company directors alike as the charming Rojo is sure to be a breath of fresh air to the company after Wayne Eagling’s somewhat chaotic approach and will bring the crowds flocking in.
In theatre we talk about the triple threat but Tamara’s CV laughs in the face of that. She is at least a quadruple threat with her impressive combination of brains, beauty, talent and ambition.
Just several stops up the Piccadilly Line in Covent Garden the mood will less enthusiastic. For years Rojo has secured full audiences keen to witness her fantastic interpretation of some of ballet’s most-loved characters. Her magical partnership with Carlos Acosta has joined the exclusive list of world famous partnerships. Think Fonteyn and Nureyev, Bussell and Cope, Kirkland and Baryshnikov, and Osipova and Vasiliev. Now the Royal Ballet not only has to bounce back from the loss of young protégé Sergei Polunin, who walked out of the company earlier in the year, but also the loss of one of their established stars.
However given Rojo’s background it is hardly surprising that she has accepted the much-coveted position, after all it was ENB who first raised her to the position of Principal in 1997. And their confidence has been richly rewarded, as not only will Rojo be heading the artistic side of things but she will also continue to perform as a resident guest artist with the company!
The question on everyone’s lips is: will the brains and beauty of one of British ballet’s most –loved dancers be enough to change the fortunes of the financially ailing company? Only time will tell.