Tamara Rojo faces a difficult role as the new director of the ENB

After 12 years as the Royal Ballet’s ‘prima ballerina’, Tamara Rojo clarifies why she has taken a new post at the English National Ballet, walking away, whilst at the top of her game.

It isn’t likely to be difficult noticing a world-renowned ballerina, even amidst a crowd of busy, bustling people emerging from the Arrivals gate at the Heathrow airport. Tamara Rojo, despite attempts to blend in with the crowds, with a hat drawn low over her face, is noticeable by her posture: she is upright and elegant, and is easily spotted against the backdrop of flustered and baggage-laden travellers.

Having just flown in from Barcelona – where she had picked up an award at a ceremony, Rojo has agreed to discuss her new role as the Artistic director at the English National Ballet in Kensington, which is where we head straight from the airport. The interview will be conducted on the way there.

This isn’t necessarily a matter of choice, but it is the only chance to catch her. Rojo’s days involved numerous hours of rehearsals as well as more than enough administrative work to keep her busy. Of course, this is all after taking ballet lessons which start at 10am each day.

With cuts beginning to take effect, people are interested to see whether Rojo can cope with leading a company that loses £100,000 every week whilst touring. With criticisms levelled at the English National Ballet – these include sticking to an altogether too mainstream and commercially interested catalogue of shows, as well as doing so at the expense of creativity – and only a fortnight until the new season begins, Rojo certainly has her work cut out for her.

Having been strongly tipped for a similar role at the Royal Ballet last year, it is no surprise Rojo has now found such a role with the ENB.