The Dancers

Sir Jon Trimmer

RNZB Coppelia - Lucy Green as Swanhilda and Sir Jon Trimmer as Dr Coppelius CREDIT Evan Li Lucy Green as Swanhilda and Sir Jon Trimmer as Dr Coppelius in 2014's Coppelia. Credit: Evan Li.

Leading Artist

Sir Jon Trimmer KNZM MBE has been a mainstay of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Jon started dancing at his sister’s ballet school in Wellington at the age of 12. He spent a year with the then New Zealand Ballet, before studying at the Royal Ballet School in 1959, which was followed by two years with Sadler’s Wells. He danced with both The Australian Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet. He has performed with Dame Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, Erik Bruhn and many of the world’s top dancers. Career highlights include being nominated for the best actor award in the Fireraiser television series (1986) and dancing the title role in Petrouchka, and the role of Albrecht in Giselle.

The last 20 years have seen Jon performing mainly character roles with the RNZB, alongside dramatic roles in television and stage plays. In 2004 and 2015 he toured New Zealand with Helen Moulder in the play Meeting Karpovsky. Jon was awarded Television Performer of the Year in 1971, received an MBE in 1974, a Fulbright Scholarship in 1981, and in 1986 was the third recipient of the Turnovsky Award. He received a knighthood in 1999 for services to ballet. To celebrate Jon’s 50th anniversary with the RNZB in 2008 he took to the stage as “The Don” in Don Quixote. In 2009 he reprised his role as Hook in Peter Pan, much to the delight of audiences and critics.

In 2010 Jon performed as the Matron in The Nutcracker with the Dominion Post calling him a “rib-tickling show-stopper”. The NZ Herald said his Matron was “a masterly portrait that balances the two arts of over-exaggeration and supreme control.” Recently Jon has performed Dr Coppelius in Coppelia (2014), The Duke in Ethan Stiefel and Johann Kobborg’s Giselle (2012, 2016), featured in The Wizard of Oz (2016) and performed the role of Friar Laurence in Francesco Ventriglia’s Romeo and Juliet (2017).

Our oldest dancer, Jon jokes that these days he mainly plays “old ladies and witches”. He is a keen gardener, painter and potter and enjoys spending time at home on the Kapiti Coast.

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