Crack the big time

Photo caption: Ballerina Jasmine Henry

A BOORAGOON-trained ballerina has won a dream role, dancing in the Russian troupe that brought the world the much-loved Swan Lake.

Jasmine Henry (18) has been offered a contract with the Mariinsky Ballet in St Petersburg, Russia – the first Australian-born ballerina to join the company full-time.

Henry began dancing as a four-year-old and was training under former WA Ballet stars Sergey and Fiona Pevnev when she got the chance to train at Mariinsky’s training school the Vaganova Academy.

Imperial Ballet

Both organisations date back to the early 1700s and were known as the Imperial Russian Ballet, though after the Soviet revolution they had several monikers, the most well-known internationally being the Kirov Ballet.

It was in the mid to late 1800s that the company hit its golden period under choreographer Marius Petipa.

He reworked the commercial flop Swan Lake with composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s brother Modest, making it so successful that virtually every production since has given it a nod in reverence (a pun for ballet dancers).

Petipa also wove his magic into The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Giselle and a host of others which have become staples of every major international ballet company.

Nutcracker

Henry’s no stranger to Giselle, having danced the lead role with Perth City Ballet in 2018.

She says she’s “incredibly grateful” for the oppor tunity.

“This is a wonderful dream come true and I’m very much looking forward to starting next month with the renowned Mariinsky Ballet,” Henry said.

Mr Pevnev, also a graduate of Vaganova, said: “I’m so proud of Jasmine, who’s just passed her final exams at Vaganova with top marks and is completing her graduation performances this month; her dedication and commitment has paid off and it’s incredible to see a WA ballerina leading on the world stage.”

by STEVE GRANT

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