It’s big news, something I’ve been waiting for since artistic director Helgi Tomasson announced his retirement: the San Francisco Ballet today appointed Tamara Rojo as the company’s next artistic director.
The following is taken from the San Francisco Ballet’s press release:
(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) January 11, 2022
San Francisco Ballet today announced the appointment of Tamara Rojo, its first new artistic director in nearly four decades and first woman to lead the internationally-recognized company that has balanced an innovative focus on new and contemporary choreography with a deeply held dedication to classical ballet for nine decades. Rojo comes to San Francisco from London’s English National Ballet (ENB), where she has served as artistic director and lead principal for nine and a half years, raising the company’s profile through excellence and innovation, garnering awards and accolades, and championing female choreographers.
In her new role in San Francisco, Rojo will helm America’s oldest professional ballet company, a trailblazer in dance that nurtures emerging choreographers and the development of new works, contributes to the international dance community through tours and festivals, provides world-class training opportunities in its School, and has a long history of originating well-loved cultural traditions. Her appointment concludes a ten-month international search for a new artistic director led by a committee co-chaired by Board of Trustees members Sunnie Evers and Fran Streets, with input from San Francisco Ballet leadership, staff, dancers, and musicians. Rojo will succeed Helgi Tomasson following his 37-year tenure and will join the Ballet at the end of 2022.
Rojo comes to San Francisco from London’s English National Ballet (ENB), where she has served as artistic director and lead principal for nine and a half years, raising the company’s profile through excellence and innovation, garnering awards and accolades, and championing female choreographers.
“SF Ballet is thrilled that Tamara Rojo will be joining us in San Francisco as artistic director later this year. She’s had an outstanding international career as a dancer and has been a transformative artistic director over the last near-decade. Classical ballet is evolving from a very ‘traditional’ past, and as a creative visionary, Tamara is the dynamic leader who will change and expand upon how patrons of dance will be able to see and engage with it. She is the voice of the future, and we are delighted she will be here at SF Ballet,” said co-chairs of the search committee, Sunnie Evers and Fran Streets.
“I’ve long admired San Francisco Ballet as one of the most creative dance companies in America, offering so many different artistic voices the opportunity to create works for some of the best dancers in the world,” said Rojo. “I’m excited to join SF Ballet to add to the innovative spirit of the company as we reassess what the future of ballet can and should look like, opening the best of what our art form can offer to the widest possible audience. And while internationally recognized both for its performances and training, SF Ballet has a deep, year-round commitment to San Francisco audiences and the community—a dynamic community that my family and I very much look forward to joining and exploring.”
Rojo brings a depth of experience to San Francisco Ballet, not only through her leadership of ENB, but also in her 30-year career as a professional ballerina. Prior to her directorship at ENB, she was a principal dancer at The Royal Ballet for over a decade following a role as a principal at ENB in the late 1990s. Her acclaimed dance repertory includes lead roles in all full-length ballet classics, as well as works by Balanchine, Robbins, MacMillan, and more. Born in Canada and raised in Madrid, Rojo received her bachelor’s degree in dance/choreography at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza Mariemma and received a master’s in theatrical arts as well as a doctorate from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid. […]
Added Danielle St. Germain-Gordon, SF Ballet Interim Executive Director, “Tamara’s artistic leadership, her shepherding the creation of ENB’s new state-of-the-art home for its dancers, and her deep commitment to beloved classical ballets, alongside a demonstrated history of pushing boundaries with innovative contemporary works, particularly those by women, makes her a perfect fit for SF Ballet. I am beyond excited that she will be joining us in San Francisco.”
It’s all brand new and very exciting news. HERE is a New York Times article on today’s announcement, and one from Dance Magazine as well, HERE. As I discover more articles I think you readers will enjoy, I’ll post their links here. In the meantime, here’s extending a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Ms. Rojo and wishing her all the luck in her future job here with the San Francisco Ballet.
For more information, please contact:
San Francisco media:
San Francisco Ballet