Janet Vernon AM

Janet Vernon AM

Associate Director and Choreographer

Adelaide-born Janet Vernon studied at The Australian Ballet School and has danced with The Australian Ballet, Ballets Félix Blaska (France) and Sydney Dance Company. In 1976 she was appointed, along with Graeme Murphy, to the artistic helm of Sydney Dance Company, where they remained for 31 years. Graeme created roles for Janet including: Shéhérazade, Daphnis and Chloé (Lykanion), Some Rooms (The Bathroom), After Venice, Nearly Beloved, King Roger (Queen Roxanna), Berlin, The Protecting Veil, Salome (Herodias) and The Trojans (Andromeque) – a collaboration with Opera Australia.

Creative Associate credits include: Swan Lake, Nutcracker--The Story of Clara, Firebird, The Silver Rose, Romeo & Juliet, The Narrative of Nothing (The Australian Ballet); Tivoli (A Sydney Dance company and The Australian Ballet co-production); Hua Mulan (a Sydney Dance Company and Shanghai Song & Dance Ensemble co-production); Die Silberne Rose (Bayerisches Staatsballet, Munich); Giselle (Universal Ballet, Seoul); Water (Shanghai Ballet); Forty Miles–A River of Dreams, The Time Together (Tasdance); Ainadamar (The Adelaide Festival of Arts); Aida (Opera Australia); the movie Mao’s Last Dancer and the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Love Never Dies.

Awards include: an AM for Services to Dance (1989); Sydney Opera House Honours (1993); Dance Australia named her ‘One of Australia’s Five Best Female Dancers Ever’; Green Room Award for Concept and Realisation, Swan Lake (2003); Centenary Medal for services to society and dance; Lifetime Achievement, Australian Dance Awards (2006); Green Room Award, Outstanding Contribution to Dance (2006) and the Fred & Adele Astaire Award for Excellence in Choreography in Film for Mao’s Last Dancer (New York, 2011).