Juliet Burnett is one of Australia’s leading dancers. Born in Sydney, Juliet trained in the Cecchetti method with Valerie Jenkins, and later with Christine Keith. She was also fortunate to receive special coaching from the late Valrene Tweedie. Juliet was accepted into The Australian Ballet School in 2000, and in 2003 gained a contract at The Australian Ballet.
Amongst her repertoire highlights there are the title role in Maina Gielgud’s Giselle, Odette in Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake, the title role in Auguste Bournonville’s La Sylphide, Juliet in Murphy’s Romeo and Juliet, Polyhymnia in George Balanchine’s Apollo, Valse, Prelude and Pas de Deux in Mikhail Fokine’s Les Sylphides, Sugar Plum Fairy in Peter Wright’s Nutcracker, 2nd Movement Principal in Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto, and leading roles in Wayne McGregor’s Chroma and Dyad 1929, Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort, Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain, Glen Tetley’s Gemini and various works by Stephen Baynes. She was involved in creations by Stephen Page with Bangarra Dance Theatre, Wayne McGregor, Nicolo Fonte, Matjash Mrozewski, Gideon Orbazanek and Krysztof Pastor. Matjash Mrozewski chose her to create the title role in Semele, after which she was named Soloist in 2009, and following her critically acclaimed performance as Sophie in Murphy’s The Silver Rose, she was named Senior Artist in 2011.
In 2015 Juliet left The Australian Ballet to become a freelance Guest Artist, in the 1st Indonesian Ballet Gala in Jakarta, dancing the Giselle pas de deux; Ballet Stars Under the Stars Gala in Melbourne and Falls Creek, dancing Tim Podesta’s Alta Stare and Simon Hoy’s Infinite Spaces; the Arts Club Winter Gala at the Arts Centre Melbourne, dancing the Swan Lake Act 2 Pas de Deux; and in West Australian Ballet’s Jakarta tour, dancing Christopher Hill’s Echoes of a Possible Future and Melanie Lane’s Megatruh. For the latter work Juliet created the concept with Melanie, drawing on their shared Indonesian culture and inspired by the writing of Juliet’s late uncle W.S. Rendra, Indonesia’s foremost poet, playwright and activist. In June 2016, Juliet along with designer Gabrielle Adamidis and Juliet’s husband, composer and electronic music producer Nicholas Robert Thayer, created a dance based video work, Letting Blood, which was presented at MONA by the Dark MOFO festival. In September 2016 Juliet will join Ballet Vlaanderen in Belgium, under the direction of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Tamas Moricz.
In 2010 Juliet was awarded the Khitercs Scholarship, which she used to travel to ballet companies around the world, and to spend time in Indonesia to learn her grandmother’s art of Javanese dance with master teacher Bu Rusini, and to take acting tuition with actor Adi Kurdi in the theatrical and meditational techniques pioneered by Juliet’s uncle.
In 2015, Juliet initiated a project to make ballet accessible to underprivileged children in Indonesia, Ballet Goes to Ciliwung, with the assistance of Ballet.Id and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Juliet will continue to work in Indonesia with local dance organisations, choreographers and dancers to develop ballet and dance there for the world stage.
Juliet also writes for various dance websites and publications, and her own blog.