Born in Perth, Scotland, Shaun James Kelly trained at the Dance School of Scotland before undertaking training at the English National Ballet School. While at the School he toured and performed with English National Ballet in a number of productions, including Nureyev’s Romeo and Juliet and Derek Deane’s Swan Lake at the London Coliseum. He also worked with Scottish Ballet on Ashley Page’s production of The Nutcracker.
On graduating in 2011, Shaun took up a contract with the Tivoli Ballet Theatre in Copenhagen, where he danced solo roles in Bournonville repertoire including Napoli, La Ventana, Flower Festival at Genzano and Le Conservatoire. He also took the title roles in Dinna Bjorn’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier and danced the Nutcracker Prince in Peter Bo Bendixen’s The Nutcracker.
Shaun joined the RNZB in 2014. He performed the lead role of Frédéri the 2017 season of L’Arlesienne by Roland Petit and Mercutio in Franceso Ventriglia’s Romeo and Juliet. Other highlights to date include Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, first male soloist in Johan Kobborg’s Les Lutins, the Fiddler in A Christmas Carol, solo in Jiří Kylián Soldier’s Mass, roles in all three works in 2016’s Speed of Light, including William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, and Puck in Liam Scarlett’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a role he subsequently reprised in both Hong Kong and Wellington at the end of 2016. Other international performances include the Wedding Couple pas de deux in Johan Kobborg and Ethan Stiefel’s Giselle, works by Andrew Simmons and Neil Ieremia, and Andonis Foniadakis’ Selon désir in the UK and Italy.
Shaun is a choreographer and was the winner of the 2016 RNZB Harry Haythorne Award for his work Blanc. He was asked to create a feature work called Aura for the RNZB’s 2017 Tutus on Tour . Shaun choreographed a work for eight RNZB dancers that was featured in New Zealand designer Andrea Moore’s catwalk show at New Zealand Fashion Week 2017.
Shaun is currently a Choreographer in Residence with the RNZB.