Tamara Rojo appointed Artistic Director at English National Ballet. Can she avert the crisis facing the company?

Tamara Rojo, 37 year old Principal at the Royal Ballet has today been announced as the new Artistic Director of English National Ballet. The arts desk blog has published the news in an excellent article here. The blog goes on to say that… “ENB is in crisis. Its Beyond Ballets Russes season at the London Coliseum last month, whose quality of programming and performance was praised to the skies by critics and balletomanes, was a desperate box office failure, not filling houses even with £10 ticket offers. Two years ago even such a sure-fire box-office Covent Garden winner as MacMillan’s Manon was a shocking commercial failure for ENB in the regions. Something has gone wrong with the company’s audience appeal, it appears.

A BBC Four documentary last year on ENB, Agony & Ecstasy, showed the stresses as the company tried to hold a balance between selling out to populism and maintaining top classical standards. Over the next two years ENB must swallow cuts in its current £6.8m annual subsidy of £700,000. Rojo, as the next director of Britain’s most suffering ballet company in a deep cultural recession, has to make bricks with straw.”

CNN has alos published a fascinating report on Rojo’s work in Beijing with Chinese Choreographer Fei Bo here. I saw “Life is a Dream” Premiered at the star-studded Anna Pavlova Gala in London last month. Rojo co- choreographed the extraordinary piece which featured a goldfish in a goldfish bowl on stage. With Rojo on board, some very exciting productions clearly await ENB.

Thanks to Sue Skelton for the link.

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