Sonia Rodriguez Retires as Principal Dancer After 32 Years With The National Ballet of Canada

Farewell Performances in A Streetcar Named Desire

September 7, 2021 … Barry Hughson, Executive Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced that Sonia Rodriguez will retire as Principal Dancer in 2022 after an outstanding 32-year career with the company. Her farewell performances will be as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire March 2 – 6, 2022.

“It has been my great pleasure to witness Sonia’s illustrious 32-year career with The National Ballet of Canada, first as a colleague and fellow dancer and then as her Artistic Director,” said Karen Kain, Artistic Director Emerita. “She is one of the finest dancers in the company’s history – a brilliant artist, a passionate dance actor and a consummate professional. Sonia’s contribution to the National Ballet is beyond measure and I look forward to watching her final performances and to celebrating her outstanding career.”

This is truly a bittersweet farewell for me. The National Ballet of Canada has been so much more than a professional home for me,” said Ms. Rodriguez. “It has been a place where I have grown not only as a dancer and artist but personally as well, surrounded by friends and colleagues that I consider family. This career has been a dream come true and I am so grateful to everyone who made it possible, from our wonderful audiences and donors to my fellow artists. After so much time away from the stage, I cannot wait to return to the artform I love for my final season. I look forward to sharing with everyone these last special performances with the company.”

Ms. Rodriguez joined The National Ballet Canada during the 1989/90 season and became a Principal Dancer in 2000. During her career, she has received accolades for her intelligent characterizations as well as her immense musicality. Ms. Rodriguez has riveted audiences with performances in the great classics such as Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty and Giselle, among others, as well as new works including The Winter’s Tale, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Nijinsky and A Streetcar Named Desire. She has had a number of roles created on her, including the title role in Cinderella, Princess Vasilisa in The Firebird and roles in Pur ti Miro, Watch her, An Italian Straw Hat and The Four Seasons, to name a few. Ballets by George Balanchine – for which she has an undeniable flair – have been a constant in her dancing life: Apollo, Mozartiana, Theme and Variations, Serenade, The Four Temperaments, Don Quixote and Jewels have all underscored her expressiveness and flawless technique.

Ms. Rodriguez has appeared abroad as a guest artist on many prestigious stages and has received various honours and awards. She has performed internationally, representing the company in many international galas, including the Stars of the 21st Century Gala in New York City and Toronto, International Ballet Gala in Madrid, International Ballet Festival of Miami, Dance Salad Festival in Houston, Cincinnati Gala, Monterrey International Ballet Gala and Star Festival in Prague.

In 2014, she 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 for her outstanding contribution to dance and was named one of the 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians in 2009. Ms. Rodriguez wrote her first children’s book, T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet in 2011.

Ms. Rodriguez will next perform onstage in the company’s Fall Season in George Balanchine’s Serenade, which will be presented on a mixed programme alongside Crystal Pite’s Angel’s Atlas, November 11 – 21, 2021.

Sonia Rodriguez’s Biography

Read More About Sonia

More Information About A Streetcar Named Desire

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

The performance of Serenade, a Balanchine® Ballet, is presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and has been produced by arrangement with the Balanchine Style® and Balanchine Technique®

Philanthropic support for Angels’ Atlas is generously provided by An Anonymous Donor, Rosamond Ivey, Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, The Producers’ Circle, The Volunteer Committee of The National Ballet of Canada and The Gail Hutchison Fund.

The Producers’ Circle: Gail & Mark Appel, John & Claudine Bailey, Inger Bartlett & Marshal Stearns, Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, The Thor E. and Nicole Eaton Family Charitable Foundation, Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Kevin Garland & Roger Garland, C.M., Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation, Anna McCowan Johnson & Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Judy Korthals & Peter Irwin, Mona & Harvey Levenstein, Jerry & Joan Lozinski, The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C., Julie Medland, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., The Harry & Lillian Seymour Family Foundation, Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan and The Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation.

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 Toronto Arts Council; the Government of Canada – Department of Canadian Heritage, through The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage; and the Government of Ontario through The Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

Sonia Rodriguez. Photo by Karolina Kuras. 

For more information:

Catherine Chang
Associate Director, Communications and Content Strategy
416 345 9686 x302
Anastasia Kolotova
Officer, Communications and Media Relations
416 345 9686 x359

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