Sonia Rodriguez Wins Rolex Dancers First Award


Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada announced that Principal Dancer Sonia Rodriguez is the winner of the Rolex Dancers First Award. Ms. Kain and Luca Bernasconi, CEO of Rolex Canada presented the award at a dinner and presentation in Toronto last night.

The Rolex Dancers First Award recognizes outstanding performances in the previous season and is juried by a committee of members of the National Ballet’s Artistic Staff. Ms. Rodriguez was recognized for inhabiting the spirit of her character with extraordinary physical & emotional stamina in her portrayal of Blanche DuBois in the Canadian premiere of John Neumeier’s A Streetcar Named Desire and was awarded a Rolex watch.

© Karolina Kuras

“Blanche DuBois… is perfectly suited to Sonia Rodriguez’ mature artistry and she digs deep into the character to plum its psychological complexity.” Toronto Star, 2017

The Dancers First programme supports all the dancers of the National Ballet with funds for artistic development and health and wellness resources. Currently, there are 26 generous donors who are members of Dancers First.

This is the eighth year that the award has been sponsored by Rolex Canada. Since its inception, Rolex has always encouraged individual excellence and the pursuit of perfection. In keeping with this long tradition, Rolex continues to contribute to the arts world through its various sponsorship activities.

A native of Toronto, Sonia Rodriguez studied dance in Madrid with Pedro de la Cruz and at the Princess Grace Academy in Monaco. She joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1990 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2000. Recently, she debuted as Hermione in The Winter’s Tale and as Le Renard in the world premiere of Le Petit Prince. She has danced the principal roles in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Manon, La Fille mal gardée, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Nijinsky, Hamlet, Song of the Earth and Opus 19/The Dreamer. Her repertoire includes numerous George Balanchine ballets, including Apollo, Mozartiana, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Theme and Variations, Serenade, The Four Temperaments and Diamonds and Rubies from Jewels as well as in works by contemporary choreographers such as Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, John Neumeier, Wayne McGregor, Jorma Elo and Crystal Pite. Ms. Rodriguez has had many roles created on her, including the title role in Cinderella, Princess Vasilisa in The Firebird and roles in An Italian Straw Hat and The Four Seasons. 
Ms. Rodriguez has held numerous guesting engagements, including the Stars of the 21st Century Gala in New York City, International Ballet Gala in Madrid, Spain, Gala of International Dance Stars in Cincinnati, International Ballet Festival of Miami, Houston Ballet Gala and the FestivALL Dance Gala in Charleston, West Virginia. In 2005, she danced the role of Dulcinea in the world premiere of Suzanne Farrell’s re-staging of Balanchine’s Don Quixote at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 2014, Ms. Rodriguez was named one of “The 100 Spaniards” being honored for her success abroad and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2012. In 2011, she was honoured with Spain’s Officer’s Cross of the Civil Merit and wrote her first children’s book, T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet.

press release 



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