Rachel Rawlins set for final bows with The Australian Ballet

One of Australia’s most acclaimed ballerinas, and principal dancer for The Australian Ballet, Rachel Rawlins will take her final curtain call this year.

Rachel Rawlins retires from The Australian Ballet. Image by James Braund
Rachel Rawlins retires from The Australian Ballet. Image by James Braund

After a stage career of 21 years and 18 years at The Australian Ballet, Rawlins will retire at the end of the Swan Lake season in Sydney. She will take her final bows as Odette on Wednesday 19 December.

“Rachel is a beautiful dancer to watch and she’s carved out a unique reputation as one of the company’s greatest classicists,” said David McAllister, Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet.

“Her superb performances in hallmark ballets such as Swan Lake, Manon, Giselle and The Nutcracker will be remembered fondly by audiences and fans that have followed her career.”

Originally from Canberra, Rawlins moved to Melbourne as a teenager to study ballet. She joined The Australian Ballet in 1991, later leaving to spend two years with The Royal Ballet in London. She re-joined the company in 2001, and was promoted to principal artist three years later.

Rawlins posseses a trademark lyricism that was showcased in classics such as Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote, and quickly established herself as a leading ballerina capable of bringing deep emotion to narrative works.

“I will be forever grateful to have had such an exciting and fulfilling career with The Australian Ballet,” Rawlins said as she announced her departure.

“I have been so fortunate to have danced in so many beautiful ballets and to have worked with incredible people. I will treasure the friendships I have made in the company and ballet community and would like to thank my family and the audience for all they have given me.

“I leave the stage feeling sure I will always miss it but that my journey is complete.

Tickets for Rawlins’ final performance in Swan Lake are sold out but seats remain available for her performances during the current Icons season, at Sydney Opera House until 26 November.

For nightly casting details, please visit australianballet.com.au/icons

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and was the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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