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THE SCOOP | National Ballet Of Canada's Sonia Rodriguez Confirms Retirement For 2022

By Michael Vincent on September 7, 2021

Sonia Rodriguez (Photo: Karolina Kuras)
Sonia Rodriguez (Photo: Karolina Kuras)

Sonia Rodriguez, Principal Dancer at the National Ballet of Canada, has announced she will be retiring in 2022, closing a 32-year career.

Her farewell production will be as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, March 2 – 6, 2022.

Over thirty years of accolades

  • At 49, Sonia Rodriguez, has set herself apart, inspiring a new generation of dancers in Canada as Principal Dancer at the National Ballet of Canada.
  • Besides having a penchant for the ballets by George Balanchine, she is known for classics such as Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty and Giselle.
  • She has had a number of roles created for 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.
  • International performances include 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, Rodriguez was named one of “The 100 Spaniards” honoured 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.

What they’re saying

“She is one of the finest dancers in the company’s history – a brilliant artist, a passionate dance actor and a consummate professional,” said Karen Kain, Artistic Director Emerita. “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.”

“The National Ballet of Canada has been so much more than a professional home for me,” said 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.”

Against the odds… With bodies practised to athletic perfection, dancers’ careers can be unexpectedly brief. On average, a dancer’s career tends to end on stage at around 35.

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Michael Vincent
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