CRACKER OF A TRADITION THE ESSENTIALS
FORMER WA Ballet principal dancer Jayne Smeulders may have retired from professional performance at the end of the company’s Beauty and the Beast season in May but she is busier than ever.
“I’m running around, getting lots of phone calls asking for teaching and coaching,” Smeulders said.
“And getting to do lots more family stuff; I saw Cooper (seven-yearold son and youngest of three) get his merit certificate, which was great.”
Smeulders said she hung up her tutu mid year because her body was starting to hurt.
“You can’t be a dancer half-heartedly, particularly a principal dancer; you have to be 100 per cent and that was the type of dancer I always wanted to be,” she said.
Ballet mistress Sandy DelasalleScannella said she was glad Smeulders had kept busy and said it was the only way to cope after a lifetime of the adrenaline rush dancing provided, putting demands both on the body and mind.
“It’s what you are used to,” Delasalle-Scannella said, speaking from personal experience.
“You find other ways to keep WA BALLET'S THE NUTCRACKER WHERE: His Majesty's Theatre WHEN: Until December 11 TICKETS: www.ticketek.com.au busy: teaching people and getting involved in choreography.”
Smeulders has done just that by joining Delasalle-Scannella and her husband, WA Ballet artistic director Aurelien Scannella, to choreograph a new production of The Nutcracker at His Majesty’s Theatre until December 11.
French-born Delasalle-Scannella said she hoped the production would become a big tradition, as it was in Europe.
“Since Perth hasn’t had an original The Nutcracker for a long time, it was time to make one,” she said.
“We’ve been working on it in our heads for over a year, so it’s a relief to finally let it out and see it.”
The pair said it was a ballet suitable for all ages that had everything in it, from the magic of Christmas to technically outstanding dancing, lots of laughs and even a few rats.
Choreographers Jayne Smeulders and Sandy Delasalle-Scannella.