SMEULDERS RE­TURNS FOR NUTCRACKER

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - TANYA MACNAUGHTON

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, of Ned­lands, said.

“And get­ting to do lots more fam­ily stuff; I saw Cooper (sev­enyear old 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, thank­ful it has taken her on a longer ca­reer than many dancers.

“You can’t be a dancer half­heart­edly, 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.

“There was just part of my mind that de­cided I’d done enough and it was time to step back and do other things.

“I was the Evil Fairy for my last per­for­mance, so a nice strong role right up my al­ley.

“I had a re­ally good show with an au­di­to­rium full of my friends and fam­ily, I felt sup­ported by the com­pany and my fel­low dancers and there were a few happy tears; happy to be fin­ished be­cause I was done and had a ca­reer much more than I ever thought I would.”

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 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 from Novem­ber 18 to De­cem­ber 11.

Smeulders chore­ographed the com­pany’s pro­duc­tion of Cin­derella in 2011 and is happy to be one of three sets of eyes work­ing on The Nutcracker.

“I’ve had peo­ple ques­tion if it’s been hard this time but it’s been great be­cause we all have the same mu­tual de­sire for this pro­duc­tion to be the best it can pos­si­bly be,” she said.

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.

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