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Jillian Vanstone Retires From The National Ballet of Canada After 22 Years


Ms. Vanstone will appear in the company premiere of After the Rain by Christopher Wheeldon.

Jillian Vanstone Retires From The National Ballet of Canada After 22 Years

Barry Hughson, Executive Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced that Principal Dancer Jillian Vanstone will retire in 2022 after an incredible 22-year career with the company. Ms. Vanstone will appear in the company premiere of After the Rain by Christopher Wheeldon, acquired especially for her farewell performances, March 23 - 27, 2022.

"Watching Jillian's growth as an artist over these past 22 years has been a true pleasure," said Karen Kain, Artistic Director Emerita. "An effervescent stage presence, technical mastery and beautiful characterization are her hallmarks. A wonderfully versatile dancer, Jillian brings joy and finesse to every role she performs. I look forward to celebrating her brilliant career and could not think of a more fitting ballet than Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain for her to say farewell with."

Born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Ms. Vanstone trained at Kirkwood Academy of the Performing Arts and Canada's National Ballet School. She joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1999 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2011 after making her debut as Alice in the North American premiere of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Christopher Wheeldon. The Globe and Mail hailed "Vanstone is an absolute charmer... Her Alice is a feisty girl who isn't afraid of anything, and who throws herself into every new adventure with gusto."

"I knew I wanted to say farewell with a work by Christopher Wheeldon because dancing his work and being with him in the studio have been some of the best times of my career. I chose After the Rain because it is a piece I have always wanted to dance. It is visually beautiful and has a depth of emotion that will be very meaningful for me in the final performances of my career," said Ms. Vanstone. "I am very grateful for the career I've had. There have been some truly incredible experiences and people that have made my time with the company very special. I leave with beautiful memories and wonderful friends."

A versatile performer, Ms. Vanstone excels in both classical roles as brilliantly as contemporary neo-classical pieces. Some of Ms. Vanstone's most memorable performances include Princess Aurora in Rudolf Nureyev's The Sleeping Beauty, Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and the title roles in Giselle and Manon. Her contemporary repertoire includes roles such as Stella in the Canadian premiere of A Streetcar Named Desire by John Neumeier, Perdita in the North American premiere of The Winter's Tale by Mr. Wheeldon and Spring in The Four Seasons by James Kudelka. Ms. Vanstone also has an extensive Balanchine repertoire, performing lead roles in Jewels, Symphony in C, Apollo and Theme and Variations, among others.

Ms. Vanstone will next perform onstage in the Fall Season in George Balanchine's Serenade, presented on a mixed programme with Crystal Pite's Angels' Atlas, November 11 - 27, 2021.

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