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Tamara Rojo: ‘Despite everything, it’s a very creative moment’

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October 12, 2020 at 12:16PM

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English National Ballet will return to the stage soon, but dance’s wider future looks precarious. The company’s artistic director tells us about bubbles, business models, and ballet classes in her kitchen

Tamara Rojo may be a great tragic dancer on stage, but in person she is far from the voice of doom. “The performing arts and dance have survived millennia,” she says, sitting in her office looking out onto a floor of empty desks. “They’ve survived pandemics and hundred-year wars and all kind of disasters. Getting together to share stories is intrinsic to humanity. People will gather, live performance will continue to exist.” Just maybe not quite in the way we’re used to, yet.

Ballet is finally putting its pointe shoes back on for a live audience. This month there are performances by the Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet – and English National Ballet, where Rojo is artistic director, has just announced two live shows. In November, a live version of their upcoming digital season will feature five new short ballets at Sadler’s Wells, and in December there’s a slimmed-down version of The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum. Christmas isn’t quite cancelled after all.

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