Tamara Rojo has defended her relationship with dancer Isaac Hernández, stating that it does not have a negative impact on English National Ballet (ENB). The Canadian has led ENB since 2012, with Hernández joining as a lead principal dancer in 2015.
In January The Times reported that some dancers in the company felt Hernández received preferential treatment. Further, they accused Rojo of bullying and forcing dancers to perform when injured. Around a third of ENB’s dancers have left the company in the last two years.
“We couldn’t recognise our company in that description,” said Rojo in an interview with The Evening Standard. “People had left, yes, but we felt it was explicable because a lot of change had been going on.”
She went on to say that Hernández made her “feel lucky” and joked that she would “highly recommend” being in a relationship with someone slightly younger (Rojo is 43, Hernández 27).
To date, Rojo’s tenure as artistic director has been a critical success. She oversaw ENB’s first ever performance at Opera Palais Garnier in 2016, and has commissioned popular pieces like Akram Khan’s Giselle.
Prior to joining ENB, Hernández danced with San Francisco Ballet and Dutch National Ballet. His awards include an Alexandra Radius Prize (2014) and a USA International Ballet Competition Gold Medal (2006).