WA Ballet Principal Dancer to Retire

Published on 12th May, 2016

Jayne Smeulders will depart the stage after 20 years

After over twenty years on the stage, Jayne Smeulders is set to retire with the closing of West Australian Ballet’s Beauty & the Beast this month.

Born in Dampier, Western Australia, Jayne began her ballet training at Jody Marshall Dance Company and continued on to study at the Graduate College of Dance. In 1993 Jayne received a scholarship to finish her studies in Germany at Hamburg Staatsope GmbG Ballettschule. Jayne began her dance career with Nederlands Dans Theatre II working with many internationally acclaimed choreographers including Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Paul Lightfoot, Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, Lionel Hoche, Johan Inge and Gideon Obarzanek.

She joined West Australian Ballet in 1999, and has danced countless Principal roles, was nominated for a Helpmann Award in 2003 and awarded a WA Dance Award for most outstanding female dancer in 2008.

Jayne was promoted to Leading Artist (now Principal Dancer) in February 2008 and was awarded West Australian of the Year in 2009 in the Arts and Entertainment category.

Jayne has choreographed a number of works for West Australian Ballet to much acclaim including When Strangers Meet (2004), Black Attitude (2006), Tango Etudes (2008) and Tarantella (2015).

Choreography will be Jayne’s new endeavor. In 2011, Jayne choreographed her first full-length production Cinderella. She will be choreographing West Australian Ballet’s new production of The Nutcracker in November 2016 alongside Artistic Director Aurélien Scannella and Ballet Mistress Sandy Delasalle.

Jayne has become an ambassador for West Australian Ballet and an inspiring and valued mentor for many young dancers within the company. We wish her well for her endeavours in retirement and congratulate her on an outstanding career in Australia and abroad.

Watch Jayne in WA Ballet’s ‘Heart of a Dancer’ episode on Creativity:


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