Janessa Dufty


Janessa Dufty is of Australian and Filipino heritage. She grew up in Yamba, a small coastal town in Northern New South Wales. Janessa started dancing at the age of 5 at the Adele Lewis School of Dance, and it was during her time there she discovered her passion for the arts. She received a scholarship to attend the Queensland Dance School of Excellence where she finished her senior studies and gained her Royal Academy of Dance Solo Seal Award. While in Brisbane she also performed in the Queensland Ballet’s production of Excalibur, directed by Francois Klaus.

At the age of 18 she continued her dance development at the New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD), majoring in Contemporary. After completing her diploma at the NZSD, Janessa then joined New Zealand’s acclaimed Black Grace Dance Company. She performed in numerous works created by Artistic Director/Choreographer Neil Ieremia which included Amata, Human Language, and War Brides. During her 2 years with Black Grace she toured internationally to the U.S.A, Canada, Noumea, Australia and throughout New Zealand.

Janessa joined Sydney Dance Company in 2009. She has performed in Rafael Bonachela’s we unfold (2009-2011); 360° (2009); 6 Breaths (2010-2011); LANDforms (2011); The Land of Yes & The Land of No (2011); 2 One Another (2012-2013); Project Rameau (2012-2013); the acclaimed season of De Novo (2013), featuring works by Rafael Bonachela (Emergence), Larissa McGowan (Fanatic) and Alexander Ekman (Cacti); and Les Illuminations (2013). She has also worked with guest choreographers on New Breed (2009); Sid’s Waltzing Masquerade (Aszure Barton, 2009); Mercury (Kenneth Kvarnstrom, 2009); Satisfying Musical Moments (Emanuel Gat, 2010) and Desire (Lisa Wilson, 2012). In November/December 2011, Janessa was part of the highly acclaimed tour of Between Breath & Form to New York, Barcelona and London.

Janessa was recently named in the 2012 Dance Australia Critics Survey ‘Most Outstanding Dancer’ and was a part of the collaboration with Kaldor Public Art Projects for the contemporary art exhibition 13 Rooms where Sydney Dance Company featured in Allora and Calzadilla’s Revolving Door.

In 2013 Janessa was part of the acclaimed 2 One Another international tour to North America, South America and Russia. This work won the ‘Best Ensemble’ Award in the 2012 Green Room Awards and the 2013 Australian Dance Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Choreography’ and ‘Outstanding Performance by a Company’.

In 2014, Janessa will be part of the triple bill Interplay, featuring choreography by Rafael Bonachela, Jacopo Godani and Gideon Obarzanek. Interplay will premiere at Sydney Theatre (15 March – 5 April) followed by Canberra Theatre Centre (10-12 April) and Southbank Theatre, Melbourne (30 April – 10 May).