The Australian Ballet | Kirsty Martin’s final curtain call

June 23, 2011

Press Releases

ballet dancer stands in front of the barre in a black dress

Kirsty Martin Photograph : by James Braund

Kirsty Martin. Photo by James Braund.For immediate release Wednesday 22 June 2011   

Kirsty Martin’s final curtain call at The Australian Ballet

Principal artist announces her retirement from dance

One of Australia’s most brilliant ballerinas will prepare her pointe shoes for the very last time
next month.After an illustrious 15-year career on stage,
Principal Artist Kirsty Martin has announced that
she will retire at the end of The Merry Widow season in Melbourne. Her last show in the title role will be Monday 4 July 2011.The news follows the recent promotion of
Andrew Killian, Amber Scott and Leanne Stojmenov to principal artist in May.

Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister said Kirsty would be remembered for her extraordinary artistry and stage presence.

“Kirsty is one of those exceptional dancers that just lights up the stage. She has a star quality that
draws audiences to her,” said McAllister.

“Her luminous performances will be remembered fondly by all those who have watched her over her career.”

Kirsty joined The Australian Ballet in 1995.
In 2000, she and fellow dancer and partner
Damien Welch headed to Europe to dance with acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater I. They
returned to Australia and rejoined the company in 2002.

After a series of outstanding roles across a wide spectrum of repertoire – from the most classical ballets such as La Bayadère to the contemporary works of Jirí Kylián and William Forsyth – Kirsty
was promoted to principal artist in 2003.

In 2005, Kirsty and Damien welcomed their first
child Oscar. She returned to the stage the following year in the title role of Stephen Baynes’s Raymonda.

In 2009, Kirsty became the first Australian to win
the coveted Benois de la Danse prize (known as
the Oscars of ballet), which is awarded to the most outstanding dancer internationally. That same year, she and Damien had their second child, Matilda.

It’s her love of her family that has been part of her difficult decision to leave The Australian Ballet.“I’ve been so fortunate to have had such a long and rich career. I’ve had the support of my family and the ballet in balancing my on stage roles with my off stage role as a mum,” said Kirsty.“I’m not sure what the future holds for me just yet but I’m looking forward to just enjoying time with my family.”


•    Madame Butterfly 2011
•    Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker 2010
•    Manon 2008, 1999
•    Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake 2008, 2007
•    Don Quixote 2007
•    Apollo 2007
•    After the Rain© 2007
•    Paquita 2007
•    Symphonie Fantastique 2007
•    Les Présages 2007
•    Raymonda 2006
•    Giselle 2006
•    La Bayadère 1998


“She is centred, strong and shows a command of the body that comes with experience and maturity.”
Sunday Herald Sun on Manon 2008

“Everyone freezes when Kirsty Martin waltzes on. There is simply no point competing with her.”
Herald Sun on Paquita 2007

“Heartbreakingly lovely … She seems not so much to cut the air, but carve it.”
Herald Sun on Raymonda 2006

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