Jones, Marilyn Fay, (OBE) (1940-)

Also known as
Jones, Marilyn (1940-)
Jones, Marilyn Fay (1940-)
Field of activity
Dancer; Teacher
Libraries Australia
http://nla.gov.au/anbd.aut-an54843687
NLA Persistent Identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-767061

Biographies

Marilyn Jones has been described as 'the greatest classical dancer Australia has produced'. She studied at the London Royal Ballet School and danced with the Royal Ballet from 1957-1958 before joining the Australian Ballet on its formation in 1962. In 1963 she married fellow principal dancer Garth Welch and they had two sons, Stanton and Damien, who also became dancers. She danced with the Australian Ballet until 1978, when she took up the position of artistic director of the Company from 1979 until 1982. In 1991 she founded the Australian Institute of Classical Dance and became its artistic director. Other appointments have included director of the National Theatre Youth Ballet from 1996-1998 and director of the National Theatre Ballet School, Melbourne, from 1995-1998. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1972 for her services to Australian ballet.

View the full record at Australian Women's Register

Marilyn Jones studied dance with Tessa Maunder in her hometown of Newcastle and then with Lorraine Norton in Sydney before leaving Australia, the recipient of an Australian Women's Weekly scholarship, to study at the Royal Ballet School in London. Her first professional engagements were with companies in England and Europe. Returning to Australia she danced with Robert Pomie's short-lived company at Ballet Theatre Le Francais in Sydney in early 1959. She was billed on the Pomie program as 'presenting her debut as a prima ballerina'. She joined the Borovansky Ballet in that same year. It was there that her acclaimed partnership with Garth Welch began.

Jones joined the Australian Ballet as a principal dancer for the company's inaugural season of 1962 and danced all the major roles in the company's repertoire. She was artistic director of the Australian Ballet between 1979 and 1981 and during that time founded the Dancers Company. This company offers performing and touring experience to senior students at the Australian Ballet School and provides opportunities for younger dancers in the Australian Ballet to gain experience in principal roles.

In 1990 Jones was the recipient of a Creative Artists Fellowship from the Australian Government and during her tenure of that award set up the Australian Institute of Classical Dance. The Institute is a non-profit organisation with branches in Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales and a board composed of eminent members of the dance profession. It was set up with the intention of establishing an Australian teaching syllabus, and aims to oversee and encourage the development of Australian classical ballet. It acts as an assessment body, initiates workshops, runs summer schools, conventions and seminars, arranges visits by distinguished guest teachers and offers scholarships to dancers. Since 1996, the AICD has held its Dance Creation choreographic competition every second year in Melbourne. Beyond her involvement with the AICD, Jones has taught and coached extensively and prior to her retirement in 2005 was lecturer in classical dance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University, Perth.

Regarded by many as Australia's finest ballerina, Jones's finely proportioned body was in the true classical mould and she excelled in the traditional classics. In addition to her outstanding partnership with Welch, to whom she was married for a number of years, in the 1970s she also established a highly regarded partnership with John Meehan. Her two sons, Stanton and Damien Welch have carved out dance careers in their own right, Damien as a dancer with the Australian Ballet and Stanton as a choreographer for many companies around the world and currently as artistic director of Houston Ballet.

Jones received the 2009 Green Room lifetime achievement award. She also returned to the stage in 2009 as Clara the Elder in Graeme Murphy's revival of his Nutcracker - the Story of Clara for the Australian Ballet.

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Resources for Marilyn Fay Jones

Selected resources (8)

Australian Women's Register

  1. Jones, Marilyn Fay
    Published: National Foundation for Australian Women
    Series: IspartOf The Australian Women's Register
  2. Marilyn Jones, a brilliance all of her own
    Laughlin, Patricia Jean
    [South Yarra, Victoria]
    Published: Quartet Books Australia
  3. Faith, Hope and Charity Australian Women and Imperial Honours: 1901-1989
    Australian Women's Archives Project
    [2003]
    Published: Australian Women's Archives Project
  4. From gaolbird to lyrebird: a life in Australian ballet.
    Kitcher, Barry
    [South Yarra, Victoria]
    Published: Front Page
  5. Who's Who in Australia 2001
    Herd, Margaret
    [Melbourne]
    Published: Information Australia Group Pty Ltd
  6. Portrait of Marilyn Jones, Kim Walker and Janet Vernon
    [1976 - 1998]
    Series: National Library of Australia, Pictorial Collection
    1 photograph: col.: 30.5 x 40.5 cm on mount 40.5 x 50.5 cm. Part of the Don McMurdo performing arts collection.
    PIC/4324 LOC Drawer PIC/4824
  7. Interview with Marilyn Jones [sound recording]
    [1990]
    Series: National Library of Australia Oral History Collection
    8 tape reels (ca. 240 min):analog, 7 1/2 ips, full track, mono. ; 7 in. Jones speaks of her current work in formulating an Australian dance syllabus; teaching dance; her childhood and family; her ballet training in Australia; training at the Royal Ballet School in London; touring with the Sadlers' Wells company; returning to Australia to dance with the Borovanxky Company; performing with the de Cuevas company in France; Garth Welch; Raymondo Larrain; joining and performing with the Australian Ballet Company; fellow dancers; her children; Peggy van Praagh; parts she has performed; appointment in 1978 as Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet; the Dancers Company; dancers strike in 1981.
    ORAL TRC 2629
  8. Great Australian women of the 20th century
    [1 CD-ROM ]
    Series: National Library of Australia
    Contains biographies of 500 Australian women; an historical timeline covering 120 years; curriculum worksheets for teachers. 1 computer laser optical disc ; 4 3/4 in. CD-ROM. System requirements: Windows PC only, 486/66 processor with 8 MB of RAM, Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, double speed CDROM drive, 256 colour SVGA video card.
    Nmt 2843

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    ... ). — On October 25, at dare Hospital, ta Maurice and Dulcie — a daughter (Marilyn Dulciei. Thanking Dr ... . Wall taaA Aster Robins: BIRTHS EDWARDS.— Ob SMcmber 2, to Vivteaae Lindsay and BJB— a daachter. Both ... 11382 words
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    ... Ashbury-a daughter (Rhonda Faye). EYLES (nee Grover).-September . 19. ni Crown Street Women's Hospital ... -a daughter (Marilyn). WORMALD (nee Madge Page).-September 17, at Sunbury private hospital, Ashfield, to Mr ... 12429 words
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    The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954) Saturday 9 October 1948 p 8 Family Notices
    ... (nee Clarke)—a Son.       DAVIS.—To Bub & Faye (nee     Goopy), at Women ... , dearly be-loved only Son of Malcolm & Bettye (nee Deller) & Brother of Marilyn, Grandson of Mr. & Mrs. J ... 6647 words
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