Although I've posted a news item on the ENB 2011-2 forum, here is the full press release:English National Ballet announces Tamara Rojo as its new Artistic Director.
English National Ballet is delighted to announce that Tamara Rojo will take over as Artistic Director in September 2012 for the start of the Company’s new season. Tamara brings with her a wealth of experience both as a dancer and board member of many of the UK’s most prestigious arts organisations.
Tamara will be an innovative and creative artistic leader for English National Ballet which continues to take ballet of the highest quality to audiences in all regions of the UK and around the world at affordable prices. Tamara’s appointment starts an exciting new chapter in the company’s long and distinguished history.
“I am honoured to have been asked by the board of English National Ballet to be their next Artistic Director. I have very fond memories of my time as a dancer with English National Ballet and nothing could make me prouder than to return to this internationally respected company, with its wonderful dancers and invaluable legacy in bringing dance to the nation. I am particularly excited about working with young British choreographers, building strong relationships with our audiences in the regions, and exploring opportunities across other art forms” Tamara Rojo
Tamara Rojo’s first Principal appointment in the UK was at English National Ballet, and it was at English National Ballet that her reputation in the dance world began to grow. The Times named her “Dance revelation of the year” after her performances as Clara in Derek Deane’s The Nutcracker. She has since gone on to perform around the world, and is currently Principal Dancer at the Royal Ballet, and one of the world’s most in demand ballerinas. Tamara is a strong voice in the dance world; she sits on the board of Arts Council East, Dance UK, the ICA, the Anglo-Spanish Society and is keen to nurture young talent as a guest teacher at the Royal Ballet School.
“English National Ballet is very happy to welcome Tamara as the new Artistic Director. We look forward to the continuing success of the Company which has thrived under Wayne Eagling’s Artistic Direction over the last seven years. Tamara will use her world wide reputation and creative vision to form inspiring collaborations throughout the UK and the world. She is looking forward to developing, mentoring and showcasing young talent within the Company, and building the profiles of those who are already performing at the highest level.“ John Talbot, Chairman of English National Ballet
As well as her role as Artistic Director, Tamara will also dance with the Company using her internationally renowned reputation and loyal fan base to reach new audiences for English National Ballet across the UK and the world.
English National Ballet will be announcing plans for the 2013 season under the new leadership of Tamara Rojo later this year.
For information about English National Ballet’s current repertoire please visit http://www.ballet.org.uk
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A personal view is that it strikes me as a bit of a leap into the unknown. For all her board experience, Rojo has not run a company before, but then again she is not the first major dancer to have gone directly to directing a major company. Some have been successful, some less so, and some people still argue about. In many ways it's a brave move all round and one that leaves people open to much potential criticism.
I have some concerns about the fact she plans to continue dancing. Of course, Peter Schaufuss did it, with some success. But it is difficult to sit on both sides of the fence (as it were), let alone in a company that seems to have more than its fair share of internal issues. And that's without following a very popular director, which is always an incredidbly difficult scenario, let alone one who is leaving in the circumstances Eagling is.
I think my biggest other worry would be that, reading comments posted here and especially elsewhere, it seems that a number of vociferous people would be only too happy if she failed (however that is judged), since that would vindicate their view of the board. I hope I'm wrong.