Jillian Vanstone, a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, is an accomplished and versatile ballerina, as adept in the great 19th-century classics as she is in masterworks of the 20th-century repertoire or brand new ballets on the cutting edge of the art form.
Jillian combines strong though seemingly effortless technique with natural poise, lyrical grace and expressive musicality. Although she is more than equal to the challenge of abstract, non-narrative works, Jillian’s natural métier is the dramatic repertoire in which her intelligence and incandescent stage presence shine to their fullest. Whether the role is that of a tragic heroine or serene fairytale princess, Jillian has the gift of establishing and developing her stage character so that the acting and dancing become an indivisible and compelling whole.
Jillian Vanstone was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia where at age six she began ballet studies at the Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts. Within two years she had already determined that dance was her life’s calling. In 1994 she passed the rigorous audition process to be accepted into Canada’s prestigious National Ballet School in Toronto where she later earned two coveted awards.
Following her graduation Jillian entered the National Ballet of Canada in 1999, was promoted to second soloist in 2003, to first soloist three years later. Then after dancing as “Alice”, she was promoted to Principal in 2011.
Since that time, Jillian has danced in some most prominent ballets, most recently as “Vera” in A Month in the Country.
Jillian is also very involved in a nonprofit volunteer initiative called ARTBOUND that harnesses the power of the arts in support of FREE THE CHILDREN. ARTBOUND partners with artists and those passionate about the arts to raise needed funds to build sustainable infrastructure in developing countries that help underprivileged children to live better lives and break the cycle of poverty.