Tamara Rojo awarded CBE for her services to ballet

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Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of English National Ballet, has been awarded a CBE for her services to ballet in the Queen’s 2016 New Year’s Honours.

“I am truly humbled to receive this honour”, said Tamara. “I owe so much to the UK already, it has given me so many opportunities and great fulfilment and happiness during the 18 years that it has been my home”.

She added: “I believe that art and culture improve and enrich the lives of those who experience them. And so I have dedicated myself to making dance, as well as the arts in general, as open and accessible to as many people as possible. I am so happy and thankful to receive this honour, and it further inspires to me continue to work passionately for ballet and the arts.”

Go to photo Tamara Rojo and Akram Khan in Akram Khan's Dust as part of Lest We Forget. © Photography by ASH.

Tamara trained at the Victor Ullate School in Madrid. In 1996 she joined Scottish Ballet where she performed a number of principal roles. Upon invitation by Derek Deane, she joined English National Ballet in 1997. In 2000 she joined the Royal Ballet where she was Principal for 12 years.

In 2012, Tamara was appointed Artistic Director of English National Ballet. Upon joining she declared her ambition to transform the Company into the country’s most loved and most creative ballet company, introducing innovative new works to the repertoire while continuing to honour the classics. As well as leading the Company, she has continued to dance as Lead Principal, and is currently performing in the winter season at the London Coliseum; as Clara in Nutcracker, and Medora in Le Corsaire.

Go to photo Tamara Rojo in rehearsal for English National Ballet's new production of Le Corsaire. © Laurent Liotardo

Le Corsaire is one of the new productions that has been developed under Tamara’s artistic directorship, with English National Ballet being the only UK company to have the full work in its repertoire.  New commissions include Lest We Forget, featuring works by acclaimed choreographers Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant, and Liam Scarlett; She Said, a triple bill of new works by female choreographers premiering in April 2016; and a new version of Giselle choreographed by Akram Khan, which will premiere in September 2016.

Go to photo Tamara Rojo as Juliet and Guest Artist Carlos Acosta as Romeo in Romeo & Juliet in-the-round. Photo: © Photography by ASH

Tamara has been repeatedly recognised for her artistic excellence.  She won the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production with Goldberg: the Brandstrup- Rojo Project.

King Juan Carlos has decorated Tamara with Spain’s three highest Honours, The Prince of Asturias Award, the Gold Medal of Fine Arts and Encomienda de Número de Isabel la Católica.

She has also received the Kennedy Centre’s Gold Medal in the Arts 2012, Benois de la Danse Award, Critics’ Circle National Dance Award, Barclay’s Outstanding Achievement in Dance Award, Positano Dance Award, Leonide Massine Premio al Valore, the Italian Critic’s Award, and from the City of Madrid, both the International Medal of the Arts and the Interpretation Award.

She holds a Masters degree in Theatrical Arts and a Bachelors degree in Dance and Choreography from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid.

Tamara is on the Board of Dance UK, the Anglo-Spanish Society, a Patron of the Ipswich-based DanceEast Academy, Patron of the Flamingo Chicks and Adviser to Spain’s Superior Counsel of Artistic Studies.

Caroline Thomson, Executive Director of English National Ballet said; “I am absolutely thrilled that Tamara has been recognized in the Queen’s 2016 New Year’s Honours for services to ballet. Tamara is a passionate voice for dance and the arts, and she has worked tirelessly throughout her career to inspire audiences through dance, as a performer, as an advocate and as a leader. On behalf of everyone at English National Ballet, we congratulate her on this honour.”