The English National Ballet (ENB), directed by the Spanish dancer Tamara Rojo, will be dancing Swan Lake, perhaps the most popular title of the entire repertoire of classical ballet. With these performances, starting September 16, the Gran Teatre del Liceu opens a new dance season sponsored by the LOEWE FOUNDATION.
The version that ENB will be performing in Barcelona was staged by Derek Deane -former Director of the company- using the original score by Tchaikovsky. As Tamara Rojo explains, “it continues the British tradition based on Nicholas Sergeyev’s revival, from the notation written by Petipa and Ivanov for the original ballet; it was made for the Ninette de Valois’s Vic-Wells Ballet in 1934”. This production, she says, “emphasizes the virtuosity of both the corps de ballet and the soloists, holding until the end of the ballet all the dramatic tension.”
The company that Tamara Rojo leads has become very popular among the English people since its foundation in 1950. Rojo says it has been “honouring the great classical ballet without sacrificing modern works, and promoting the creativity of contemporary choreography”. ENB, during the past decades, has developed as a “travelling company, both in England and in the rest of the world” and for that reason, explains its Director, it has extended “the love for dance on the basis of artistic excellence and creativity.” Tamara Rojo says that being able to direct ENB is “the culmination of my artistic aspirations because it allows me to address important aspects about the practice of our art that would be impossible for me as a dancer.” She also admits to be interested in the “artistic challenges associated to the strategies that make possible to integrate the artistic, commercial and creative goals for our company and to achieve the purposes of artistic excellence, sustainability and commitment to social responsibility”.
The last time Rojo was on this same stage back in 2010, she was still Principal Dancer with London’s Royal Ballet. “I danced Sleeping Beauty about the time the Spanish football team won the World Cup,” she jokes. She returns to the Liceu to meet an audience that has always treated her “with love” and that she defines as “very enthusiastic”.
In 2008 Tamara Rojo participated, together with poet Luis Antonio de Villena in the LOEWE TALK Dance-Literature held at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid. It was moderated by Elna Matamoros, adviser of the LOEWE FOUNDATION. Rojo remembers that event, on dance and literature, as “very satisfactory”. She emphasizes the importance of “linking dance with other arts such as poetry or painting, which are complementary”. A summary of the talk can be downloaded from the link at the end of this article [only in Spanish].
More information at 90253 33 53 (www.liceubarcelona.cat).
Photographs: Swan Lake performed by the English National Ballet with Tamara Rojo and Matthew Golding © Arnaud Stephenson for ENB, 2013. Tamara Rojo at the LOEWE TALK Dance-Literature © Residencia de Estudiantes, 2008.