Episode #5: Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of San Francisco Ballet

Tamara Rojo

In this episode Tamara Rojo shares her experience as artistic director of both English National Ballet (2012-2022) and more recently San Francisco Ballet (since 2022). Tamara speaks of her love of dance as an art form and its ability to change lives.

Having been at the forefront of cultural transformation at the English National Ballet (ENB) for 10 years Tamara champions the importance of personal accountability from individuals within an organisation and reflects on her belief in investing in new voices. She also highlights the importance of speed, citing quick change and therefore quick reward, as the cornerstone of cultural and organisational success. She also reminisces fondly over the late chairman, Justin Bickle, who shared her passion and workload during cultural change at ENB, which enabled Tamara to ‘not have to fight every battle alone’.

Originally from Spain, Tamara didn’t train at any of the traditionally admired institutions in the ballet world, but from a small school in Madrid, and she says this ‘outsider status’ gives a fresh perspective and the ability to always question everything. As an accomplished principal dancer herself, Tamara openly discusses the mindset of a ballerina and the pursuit of excellence. Tamara states that she finds it easy being ‘ambitious on behalf of others’, and highlights that success doesn’t happen alone. She encourages all dancers in her company to take pride in their common responsibility to deliver an outstanding performance worthy of applause every time they take the stage. 

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00:00:00-Welcome to Episode 5

00:01:16–Introduction to Tamara’s career

00:02:50-10 years as Artistic director of the
English National Ballet (ENB)

00:09:18-Cultural transformation at ENB

00:18:21-Uniting dancers with purpose

00:23:29-The pursuit of excellence as a
person and a professional

00:27:44-Ambition, pride and the ability to
question everything

00:34:13-Adapting to a role off the stage

00:41:49-Whats next for Tamara and the San
Fransisco Ballet

00:45:24-Reclaiming the Swan

00:47:49-Tamaras choice of song

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