Sonia Rodriguez Wins Rolex Dancers First Award

September 20, 2017

Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada announced today 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.

“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.


The Rolex Dancers First Award is presented by Rolex Canada Ltd.

BMO Financial Group Presents A Streetcar Named Desire.

A Streetcar Named Desire is made possible by the generous support of The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation and The Producers’ Circle.

The Producers’ Circle: Gail & Mark Appel, John & Claudine Bailey, Inger Bartlett & Marshal Stearns, Susanne Boyce & Brendan Mullen, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, The Thor E. and Nicole Eaton Family Charitable Foundation, Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Kevin & Roger Garland, Emmanuelle Gattuso and Allan Slaight, The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation, Rosamond Ivey, Hal Jackman Foundation, Anna McCowan-Johnson & Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Judy Korthals & Peter Irwin, Judith & Robert Lawrie, Mona & Harvey Levenstein, Joan & Jerry Lozinski, The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C., Julie Medland, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Lynda & Jonas Prince, Susan Scace & Arthur Scace, C.M., Q.C., Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan, Sandra Simpson and Noreen Taylor, C.M. & David Staines, C.M., O.Ont.

The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the City of Toronto through the Economic Development & Culture Department; the Government of Canada РDepartment of Canadian Heritage, through the Honourable M̩lanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages; and the Government of Ontario through the Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

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