Rachael Walsh —
On Thursday 3 July 2014, Rachael Walsh, one of Queensland Ballet’s most loved and admired dancers, announced that she will retire from her position as a Principal Dancer in the Company.
After a luminous career with Queensland Ballet which spanned 16 and a half years, Rachael took her final bow at the end of Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo & Juliet on Saturday 5 July.
Rachael Walsh received her early training from Maxine Lockwood in Mt. Gambier, South Australia. She went on to graduate from The Australian Ballet School in 1997 and joined Queensland Ballet in 1998. In 2002 she was promoted to Principal Dancer.
She has spent her 16 years with the Company performing principal roles in many classic and contemporary ballets, and has enjoyed works being created upon her by both Australian and international choreographers.
Rachael has had numerous roles created on her in ballets by François Klaus, Natalie Weir, Nils Christe, Paul Boyd, Young Soon Hue, Kim McCarthy, Stephen Baynes, Timothy Brown and John Utans. Some of her signature roles in François Klaus’s repertoire include Romeo and Juliet (Juliet), Carmen (title role), A Streetcar Named Desire (Blanche), Cloudland (Christine), The Nutcracker (Clara), The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora), A Midsummer Night`s Dream (Titania/ Hippolyta), The Little Mermaid (Princess), Don Quixote (Kitri and Street Dancer), King Arthur & the Tales of Camelot (Guinevere), and Passion (Mary).
From Natalie Weir`s repertoire, there is Petrushka (Ballerina), When Angels Weep (Isabella), Wuthering Heights (ghost of Catherine), and The Gathering (solo); and from Paul Boyd, Jekyll and Hyde (Emma), and featured roles in his ballets The Blue Dress, Scotch on the Rocks, and A Twist of Broadway. Also created on Rachael were featured roles in Nils Christe’s Short Dialogues, Kim McCarthy`s 19, Young Soon Hue`s Breath of an Angel, Timothy Brown`s Thread, and Stephen Baynes`s The Fold.
Other leading roles she has performed include the title roles in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella: Giselle: and Desdemona in Othello, Solveig in Peer Gynt and The Chosen One in Rite of Spring by François Klaus. Other memorable performances include Young Soon Hue`s Elle Chant, Valse Triste (solo), and Stephan Thoss`s Swan Lake (white swan solo).
In 2000, Rachael won the 4MBS/Perform Award for Dance. In 2004 she was awarded a Lord Mayor`s Young and Emerging Artist Fellowship that allowed her to travel to Spain, Germany, France and The Netherlands for further study. She has been named “Most Outstanding Dancer” several times in Dance Australia’s annual Critics Survey.
Rachael has toured internationally with Queensland Ballet to Europe, Japan and China, and in 2007, she was invited to dance with fellow Principal Alex Wagner in François Klaus’s Chant d’Amour at The Asia-Pacific Ballet Festival in Seoul, Korea.