“A Day in the Life” with Toronto ballet dancer Sonia Rodriguez

As of 2020, Sonia Rodriguez is in her 31st exceptional year as a ballerina with The National Ballet of Canada. I first met Sonia when I joined the National Ballet in 1991 and I was quickly drawn in by her charming nature. As a friend, I have had the pleasure of watching her rise to stardom from up close.
Even in those early years as a Corps de Ballet member, Sonia stood out for her sparkling technique and bubbly personality on-stage and off. Thinking back, I am reminded of how she would get so into character as a peasant in Giselle, she would often find herself crying during the title character’s mad scene. Sonia also had a mischievous side and she took pleasure in quietly making her fellow dancers giggle during very dramatic or serious moments on stage. Today Sonia is an acclaimed Principal dancer, but her passion and fun-loving qualities still radiate to my distant seat in the Four Seasons Centre.

I have seen her dance many leading roles over the years, but my favorites are when she gets to exercise her dramatic prowess. She is a talented actress and has an incredible ability to convey emotions to the audience with the slightest gesture or glance. Like Tatiana in Onegin, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet or Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, I love when she takes the audience on a lifetime’s dramatic journey in just a few hours. Sonia is a versatile dancer and equally comfortable in contemporary pieces. Even without a storyline she mesmerizes audiences with her sophisticated interpretations of any choreography she has the opportunity to dance.

Off stage she is the proud mother of two teenage boys, a successful children’s author, has been recognized with an Order of Civil Merit by the Spanish government and awarded a star on Canada’s “Walk of Fame” for her accomplished career.

Sonia’s innate talent and unwavering dedication to her art form have captivated audiences for more than three decades. The next time the curtain rises with Sonia on stage, you will most certainly find me in the audience.

by friend Jennifer Kropac

Sonia Rodriguez
When it all began. Me at age 5, in my first ballet class.
Sonia Rodriguez
New normal for the past few months since Covid hit. Working out with my children at home.
Sonia Rodriguez
I tried lots of different ways to stay in shape and motivated while our studios were closed. Kick boxing was one of them.
I often collaborate with photographers; here is a pic from a couple of months ago by the incredible Johan Persson @perssonphotography.
Sonia Rodriguez
One good thing about COVID has been having more time at home with my boys.
SoniaRodriguez
This summer has been all about spending more time in nature. #happyplace

What ‘hood are you in?

I moved to Davisville village five years ago. I just love the neighbourhood. We have everything we need in walking distance. From schools and parks, to restaurants, shops and movie theatres. We have been dealing with lots of construction, but it will be all worth it once the subway line is finished.

What do you do?

I perform. I have been a ballet dancer since I can remember and a professional one, with The National Ballet Of Canada, for the past 30 years. I like to try new things whenever possible and so I have also acted in a few short films and TV series. I also wrote a children’s book back in 2011, called T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet.

What are you currently working on?

The professional dance world has been severely impacted by Covid and since March I have been deprived of performing on a stage. I am excited and happy to share that as part of this year‘s Fall For Dance North festival I will be able to perform at The Fleck Dance Theatre on a world premiere choreographed by Vanesa Garcia-Ribala Montoya, alongside two other colleagues from The National Ballet Of Canada.

Where can we find your work?

You can buy tickets for Fall For Dance North’s Signature Livestream Program at ffdnorth.com. The performance will livestream from The Fleck Dance Theatre on Oct. 3 and be available for viewing until Oct. 18. Keep an eye on announcements from The National Ballet of Canada for updates on their upcoming March season and digital content.

You can also find some of my work posted on YouTube and I am getting better at posting myself on my Facebook and Instagram pages.

 

About Joel Levy 2101 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography