profile image

Jillian Vanstone

Principal Dancer, National Ballet of Canada

A native of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Jillian Vanstone trained at the Kirkwood Academy of the Performing Arts and Canada’s National Ballet School. She joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1999 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2011.

Ms. Vanstone’s repertoire includes principal roles in Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, The Taming of the Shrew, Onegin, The Nutcracker, La Fille mal gardée and The Seagull. She has performed lead roles in Jewels, The Four Seasons, Symphony in C and Theme and Variations as well as featured roles in Swan Lake, Apollo, The Firebird and Les Sylphides.

Ms. Vanstone danced the title role in the North American premiere of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Christopher Wheeldon and performed in company premieres by such choreographers as Alexei Ratmansky, John Neumeier and Jerome Robbins.

In 2011, Ms. Vanstone was the recipient of the Rolex Dancers First Award for her role as Alice in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
LdF via Getty Images

Making Each Performance Even More Beautiful Than the Last

A cellist and I both agreed that the authenticity and emotion of an art is lost when the artist is not fully in the present moment. So what to do when the pressures of a past performance show up to haunt me? Well, this wonderful young cellist had come up with a strategy, and it has altered my approach to performance ever since. She said that before she begins a repeat performance she tells herself "make it even more beautiful."
03/20/2014 05:28 EDT
Sian Richards

Becoming the Sugar Plum Fairy

Visions of Sugar Plums are dancing in my head, but not in the way portrayed in T'was the Night Before Christmas. I'm visualizing my corrections and my goals for the solo and pas de deux I perform as The Sugar Plum Fairy in Act II of The National Ballet of Canada's The Nutcracker. I have just woken up and I am already in the process of preparing for my performance in the evening.
12/12/2013 03:08 EST