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The pirouette ends: Olivia Bell to retire

Cory Zanoni

Olivia Bell will retire from the stage on 25 November. Her 18 year career will end with the lead role in Paquita.
The pirouette ends: Olivia Bell to retire

Olivia Bell will retire from the stage on 25 November. Her 18 year career will end with the lead role in Paquita.

She will be remembered as one of Australia’s most popular and elegant ballet dancers, a performer ‘whose elegance and star quality has shone brightly, both on and off stage – a true ballerina,’ said David McAllister, the Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet.

‘We will miss her glamour and artistry but celebrate her wonderful career as she leaves us at the height of her powers.’

Bell was born and raised in Newcastle. At 15, she competed in the Prix de Lausanne competition and won scholarship to the Paris Opéra Ballet School. Upon graduating in 1995 she joined The Australian Ballet. Twelve years later, after a season-closing performance in The Nutcracker, she became the organisation's Principal Artist.

‘I will always be associated with The Australian Ballet and dance and I have a number of exciting goals that I’m working towards in the next phase of my career… so who knows, I may not be hanging up my pointe shoes straight away!’

Bell has performed all over the world with lead roles in Swan Lake, The Merry Widow and Manon. She’s even appeared on a 50 cent coin.

‘My career with The Australian Ballet has been a magical journey, highlighted by so many unforgettable performances and experiences that I will cherish forever,’ said Bell.

Bell has retired to spend more time with her young family – she gave birth to twin boys in 2009 and a daughter in 2011.

Her final season, La Sylphide, opens in Melbourne tomorrow where it will run until 7 September. It will then move to Sydney for performances from 7 to 25 November,

(Pictured: Olivia Bell will give her final curtsey after 18 years with The Australian Ballet.)

About the author

Cory Zanoni writes essays and poetry but invariably draws little comics over his work. He complains about this behaviour on Twitter: @cjzanoni

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