It’s hard to imagine Tamara Rojo, prima ballerina at the Royal Ballet, giving private dances to select individuals. Naturally authoritative, with a polished yet unfussy beauty, Rojo is used to a grand stage. So the idea that last year she and members of the Royal Ballet company performed for Chancellor George Osborne, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and a group of potential arts donors at Downing Street brings up incongruous images of a woman of poise in a stuffy wood-panelled room trying chaînés over the walnut floors and grands-jetés around a long wooden dinner table.
“Funnily enough, Jeremy Hunt organised a performance in Number 11 to promote philanthropy,” Rojo explains. “He asked me to perform in it, which I did. Very ironic,” she says, referring to Osborne’s budget this year, which capped tax relief on charitable giving at £50,000, leaving art organisations believing that philanthropy to their industry will suffer.
This is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever read and ‘incongruous’ doesn’t even begin to describe such a surreal situation. It calls to mind a bio pic I once saw of Joseph Stalin summoning a ballerina to dance in his presence: truly bizarre.
However the following goes a long way in explaining how Rojo managed to get that top ENB job in such an unorthodox manner, when your pals are the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Culture I suppose you can get away with anything.
Osborne is a fan of Rojo. Last year he went to see one of Rojo’s shows and she has met him “a couple of times,” she confirms, …….