John studied at The Australian Ballet School, joined The Australian Ballet in 1970, and was promoted to principal dancer in 1974. He joined American Ballet Theatre as principal dancer in 1977. He was also a frequent guest artist with New York City Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada and toured with Stars of World Ballet. A versatile dancer, John danced leading roles in all of the classics as well as contemporary works by many of the world’s leading choreographers. He has partnered many of the world’s great ballerinas including Dame Margot Fonteyn, Natalia Makarova, Merrill Ashley, Gelsey Kirkland, Cynthia Gregory, Karen Kain, and the Australian ballet stars Marilyn Rowe and Marilyn Jones.
John began choreographing early in his career. His ballets entered the repertoire of The Australian Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Washington Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Company, and Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
John was Artistic Director of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet from 1990 to 1993, the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company from 1997 to 2006, and the Hong Kong Ballet from 2006 until 2009. He is now a professor of dance at Vassar College in New York.