Jayne Smeulders CitWA
Born in Dampier, Western Australia, Jayne began her ballet training at Jody Marshall Dance Company and continued on to study at the Graduate College of Dance. In 1993 Jayne received a scholarship to finish her studies in Germany at Hamburg Staatsope GmbG Ballettschule.
Before joining West Australian Ballet in 1999, Jayne performed for four years with Nederlands Dans Theater II. She accompanied NDT on tours to most major theatres all over the world. During her time at NDT Jayne worked with many internationally acclaimed choreographers such as Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Paul Lightfoot, Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, Lionel Hoche, Johan Inge and Gideon Obarzanek.
During the past 16 years with West Australian Ballet Jayne has danced many lead roles and worked with choreographers such as Ted Bransen, Natalie Weir, Adrian Burnett, Chrissie Parrott, Simon Dow, Matjash Mrozewski, Askhat Galiamov, Petr Zuska, Kim McCarthy, Ashley Page, Stephen Page, Gary Stewart and Ivan Cavallari. Jayne was nominated for a Helpmann Award in 2003, awarded a WA Dance Award for most outstanding female dancer in 2008, and promoted to Leading Artist in February 2008.
Jayne has danced the roles of Kate in John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew with Stuttgart Ballet’s principal artist Filip Barankiewicz, Clara in Ivan Cavallari’s The Nutcracker and the title role in Giselle with guest Principal Artist Ivan Gil-Ortega. Also in 2009, she was awarded the West Australian Citizen of the Year for her services to arts, culture and entertainment. In 2010 Jayne took a short break for the birth of her youngest child Cooper and returned for the company’s May season of to dance the role of Kitri in Lucette Aldous’ Don Quixote and the Lilac Fairy in Marcia Haydées’ The Sleeping Beauty.
Other roles that have been a highlight are Tatiana in John Cranko’s Onegin, Lise in Marc Ribaud La Fille mal gardèe, Myrtha in Scanella/Desasalle’s Giselle, Stephan Page’s Mundajali, Uwe Scholz’s 7th Symphony, Glen Tetley’s Voluntaries and Stairway to Paradise Principle Lady in Balanchine’s Who Cares?
Since returning to Perth, Jayne has choreographed a number of ballets to much acclaim including Sway for Ballet Under the Stars 2001 and multiple pieces for Ballet at the Quarry including When Strangers Meet (2004), Black Attitude (2006) and Tango Etudes (2008). In 2011, Jayne choreographed her first full-length show for West Australian Ballet Cinderella.
Inspired by Balanchine, Jayne created a Grande Tarantella that premiered in West Australian Ballet’s Embraceable You season 2015. Jayne has also created many pieces for the company to perform at Balls and corporate events.
Jayne also spends many hours a week working with students, choreographing and coaching, sharing her love of music and dance at the dance school she grew up at, Jody Marshall Dance Company.
Spare time on the weekends are spent with her husband, Jon, and three children; Lilly, Arabella and Cooper. Jayne enjoys the Australian outdoor lifestyle, water-skiing, fishing and playing by the river or on the beach.
Spending time with friends and family, laughing, eating good food and sharing a nice bottle of wine is Jayne’s idea of a perfect evening.