Tamara Rojo, artistic director of English National Ballet, has refused to apologise for the turmoil caused within the company by her relationship with a principal dancer.
Rojo sparked speculation that she is engaged to Isaac Hernández when she attended the launch of the company’s new season yesterday wearing a ring on the fourth finger of her left hand.
The relationship between Rojo, 43, and Hernández, 27, is said to have contributed to a “toxic” environment at ENB, with staff claiming it has created a conflict of interest. The company has lost a third of its dancers in the past two years.
But asked if she felt personally responsible for the divisions within the company, or wished to apologise for the way the situation has been handled, Rojo said: “I have always had the interests of the company and the dancers at heart. It is obviously disappointing if people are not happy, but I do feel I have tried my best.”
She denied telling other dancers at the company that they could not be in relationships with one another.
“The past few weeks have been difficult. Of course, being under media scrutiny is never fun for anybody. But what has been most distressing is to hear that some people have felt upset,” she said.
“It hasn’t been the best of times but what is encouraging is to see that the company is behind me and we are doing what we can to make sure people feel confident to raise concerns.”
Rojo did not comment on engagement rumours, although she indicated in a recent interview that she was keen to marry and had not ruled out the possibility of having a baby.
“It is personal, however, I can see that it has become interesting for the public,” she said of her relationship with Mexican-born Hernández.
“Isaac and I have always been very open and clear and honest about the fact we are in a relationship, both with the members of the company and with our board, and there has never been any conflict of interest.”
Rojo insisted that she had the company’s best interests at heart and was committed to creating a “supportive and nurturing working environment”.
ENB is moving to a new, purpose-built home in east London, close to City Airport.