Iain MacDonald was born in Johannesburg and studied at the National School of the Arts in his home city as well as privately with Ethné Ferraris. On completing his dance training he joined PACT Ballet (later The State Theatre Ballet) in 1991 where he rose to the rank of Principal Dancer. He danced principal and soloist roles in the company’s extensive repertoire of the classical ballets, full-length narrative ballets and many shorter works by major 20th century choreographers. He danced at the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela in 1994.
Following the closure of The State Theatre Ballet in 2000, he, together with five others, formed The South African Ballet Theatre where he served on the company’s management while continuing to pursue his career as a dancer. He has now retired from the stage. He was later appointed the company’s artist director and continues to hold this post today with SABT’s successor company, Joburg Ballet.
As a choreographer he has created several shorter works for Joburg Ballet as well as two full-length productions, Cinderella to music by Johann Strauss II and Snow White with music drawn from the compositions of Dmitri Shostakovich.
As a teacher and coach, he works extensively with the dancers of Joburg Ballet as well as regularly serving on the teaching faculty of the American Academy of Ballet in New York, USA, as a visiting lecturer.
© Joburg Ballet
Photo Lauge Sorensen