Annette av Paul

Annette av Paul, ballet dancer, director and teacher (b Annette Wiedersheim-Paul at Stockholm, Sweden 11 Feb 1944). First as a ballerina and later as a director and teacher, Annette av Paul has made an important contribution to dance performance and training in Canada through her artistry and experience. She trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet School (1953-61) and in 1962 was chosen from among the company apprentices by the Russian choreographer, Yuri Grigorovitch, to dance the lead in his ballet, The Stone Flower. During the next 10 years she rose to become one of the company's leading ballerinas and performed as a guest artist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Harkness Ballet, Norwegian Ballet and other companies. She married Canadian choreographer Brian Macdonald in 1964.

In 1973 av Paul moved to Montréal, joining Les Grands Ballets Canadiens as principal dancer. Her beauty, artistic maturity and versatility won her a wide-ranging repertoire in both purely classical and neo-classical works and she created many roles in new ballets including several by Macdonald. She retired from dancing in 1984 and in early 1986 became founding artistic director of Ballet British Columbia where her experience and wide connections in the ballet world enabled her to give the young company an exceptionally strong start. Since leaving Vancouver in 1987 she has worked as a guest teacher and coach throughout Canada, with the associated school of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, at the National Ballet School, and at the Royal Swedish Ballet School. Annette av Paul is director of the dance program at the Banff Centre in Alberta.