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.
This season, Ms. Rodriguez will be making her debut as Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow in June. She has also danced principal roles in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Manon, The Winter’s Tale, La Fille mal gardée, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Nijinsky, Anna Karenina, Hamlet, A Streetcar Named Desire, 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 a number of 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.
“Principal Dancer Sonia Rodriguez tirelessly appeared onstage for most of the night, perfectly capturing the mix of playful innocence and bewilderment as she encountered one strange scene after another during her journey.”
Los Angeles Magazine
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. In 2017, Ms. Rodriguez was the recipient of the Rolex Dancers First Award for her role as Blanche DuBois in the Canadian premiere of John Neumeier’s A Streetcar Named Desire.
Born: Toronto, Ontario
Trained: With Pedro de la Cruz in Spain and the Princess Grace Academy in Monaco.
Principal Dancer since: 2000
“Sonia Rodriguez, who created the title role, remains youthfully fresh but also finds opportunities to refine her interpretation”
— Toronto Star
The Merry Widow
“The darkly beautiful Rodriguez, dances with rapturous abandon, investing her flirtatious character with just the right dollop of sauce.”
— Hamilton Spectator
"Sonia Rodriguez was a delightful Terpsichore, winning the god’s love in a sensual duet where at one point he held her on his bent neck while she swam, back arched, above him.”
— The Times Colonist