BORN TO DANCE
Artistic greatness may very well be genetic, especially if this Queensland Ballet motherdaughter combination is anything to go by
When you’re a little girl, you parade around in your mum’s high heels, raid her lipstick collection and become her shadow.
You’re hoping one day the shoes will fit, the lipstick looks as good on you and you grow up to be like her.
The bond between a mother and daughter is more powerful and compelling than some might think and the influences are stronger than we realise.
But for others, the similarities are way too obvious to ignore.
For Townsville-born dancer Janette Mulligan and her daughter Tara Schaufuss, their bond is greater than blood, they’re bonded by a passion for dance. Mulligan, 57, has been the Queensland Ballet’s Ballet Mistress since 2013 and Schaufuss, 23, joined Queensland Ballet as a company dancer last year.
The pair will share the stage together on the Gold Coast today when they perform in the Queensland Ballet’s production of Coppelia.
On a work day, Mulligan is Schaufuss’ teacher, mentor, rehearsal director, colleague, and on occasion, a fellow performer.
Outside hours, they’re an ordinary mother-daughter duo, who meet for coffee at their favourite jaunts.
But Mulligan is far from an ordinary mum to her two daughters Mona and Tara.
At 16, she left Townsville to join the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne, where she was dux of her year, before securing a dream position as a senior principal of the English National Ballet, formerly known as the London Festival Ballet.
“I started my first ballet class in Townsville … there was a little girl up the road and her mum decided she was going to do ballet classes, so I went along with her to keep her company. A couple of years later, she gave it up and I kept going.” The now Brisbanebased Ballet Mistress was dancing professionally until two years ago.
Schaufuss, who was born in
Tara Schaufuss, daughter of dancer Janette Mulligan, the Queensland Ballet mistress.