Gillian Murphy starting dancing at the age of three in Belgium. Soon after her family moved to the United States and relocated in South Carolina. She trained at the Columbia City Ballet and then with North Carolina School of the Arts. Under her teacher Melissa Hayden she performed the principal roles in productions such as The Nutcracker.
In 1996 Gillian Murphy joined American Ballet Theatre in New York City. She was promoted to Soloist in 1999 and Principal Dancer in 2002. Some of the roles she has performed with the ABT are; Polyhymnia in Apollo, Nikiya and Gamzatti in La Bayadère, Cinderella in Cinderella, Swanilda in Coppélia, Medora and Gulnare in Le Corsaire, Kitri in Don Quixote,Titania in The Dream, the Accused in Fall River Legend, second girl in Fancy Free, Lise in La Fille mal gardée, the pas de deux Flames of Paris, Grand Pas Classique, Myrta in Giselle, His Memory and His Experiences in HereAfter, the Queen of Hearts in Jeu de Cartes, Lescaut’s Mistress in Manon, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Desdemona in Othello, Hagar in Pillar of Fire, Raymonda in Raymonda, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Romeo’s Farewell to Juliet), Princess Aurora and the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Sylvia in Sylvia, the first and third movements in Symphony in C, the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and the ballerina in Theme and Variations, and leading roles in Allegro Brillante, Ballet Imperial, Ballo della Regina, Baroque Game, Paul Taylor’s Black Tuesday, Clear, Désir, i>Diversion of Angels, Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, Études, From Here On Out, Gong, In The Upper Room, Meadow, Les Patineurs, Pretty Good Year, Push Comes to Shove, Sinfonietta, Les Sylphides, Symphonie Concertante and featured roles in Company B, The Elements, Overgrown Path and Without Words.
Gillian Murphy has also performed in Japan, Mexico, Germany, Italy as well as other with companies in the United States. She made her debut with the Kirov Ballet in March 2008, dancing Odette-Odile in Swan Lake.
Other notable awards:
- Finalist at the Jackson International Ballet Competition (1994)
- Awarded the Prix de Lausanne Espoir after performing the final round at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (1995).
- National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awardee (1996)
- Finalist at New York IBC (1996)
- Presidential Scholar nominee (1996)
- Awarded the Princess Grace Foundation-USA grant (1998)
- Named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” (2002)
Television and Film appearances:
- Odette-Odile in the ABT telecast of Swan Lake
- ABT telecast of Le Corsaire
- Washington Opera’s Die Fledermaus
- Center Stage and Center Stage 2