Principal Artist Rachel Rawlins to Retire from The Australian Ballet After SWAN LAKE, Dec 19

Related: Rachel Rawlins, The Australian Ballet, Swan Lake

One of Australia's most acclaimed ballerinas will take her final curtain call next month.

After a stage career spanning 21 years, 18 of those spent at The Australian Ballet, Principal Artist Rachel Rawlins has announced that she will retire at the end of the Swan Lake season in Sydney. Her last show in the title role of Odette will be Wednesday 19 December 2012.

Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister said Rachel would be remembered for many leading roles in her remarkable career.

"Rachel is a beautiful dancer to watch and she's carved out a unique reputation as one of the company's great classicists," said McAllister. "Her superb performances in hallmark ballets such as Swan Lake, Manon, Giselle and The Nutcracker will be remembered fondly by audiences and fans that have followed her career."

Rawlins grew up in Canberra before moving to Melbourne as a teenager to study ballet. She joined The Australian Ballet in 1991, later leaving to spend two years with The Royal Ballet in London. She re-joined the company in 2001 and was promoted to principal artist three years later.

Showcasing her trademark lyricism in much-loved classics such as Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote, Rawlins quickly established herself as a leading ballerina capable of bringing deep emotion to narrative works.

She took her talents to the world stage with appearances at the Ena Ballet International Gala in Kuala Lumpur in 2011, the World Festival of Ballet in Tokyo in 2009 and numerous international tours with The Australian Ballet.

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