News: Gailene Stock, 1946 - 2014

Tuesday 29 April 2014 by Carmel Smith

Gailene Stock. Photo: Patrick Baldwin

Gailene Stock, Director of The Royal Ballet School, died peacefully today after a courageous battle with cancer at the age of 68. She had been ill for some time and Jay Jolley had assumed the role of Acting Director, with Christopher Powney joining recently as Artistic Director Designate. She led the Royal Ballet School for 15 years, during which time it has become widely recognised as one of the top classical dance training centres in the world.

The Royal Ballet’s Director Kevin O’Hare said: “Gailene Stock has made an extraordinary contribution to dance. Her talent, drive and determination, first as a ballerina and subsequently as a much admired teacher, led her finally to her post as Director of our own Royal Ballet School, a position she has held since 1999. Under her direction the School has gone from strength to strength and on behalf of The Royal Ballet, and in particular all of its dancers who were former students of hers, I salute all that she has achieved for them and for the dance world as a whole.”

Born in Ballarat, Victoria, Gailene trained initially in Australia and then at The Royal Ballet Upper School as a result of a scholarship awarded by the Royal Academy of Dance. She danced as a Principal Artist with The Australian Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, performing many of the leading roles in the major classics and also many dramatic works.

After a sixteen year professional dancing career, she became Director of the National Theatre Ballet School, Victoria, Australia for eight years and The Australian Ballet School for nine years, before taking on the role of Director of The Royal Ballet School in 1999.

In 1997 Gailene was awarded the Order of Australia for services to ballet. She received the Governors of The Royal Ballet Gold Medal 2013. Internationally acclaimed, her knowledge and experience was regularly sought in the dance community worldwide. She participated as a jury member in many international competitions including the role of President of the Prix de Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Youth America Grand Prix, New York.

Photo: Patrick Baldwin

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