The Arts Page | Exclusive | Milwaukee Ballet – Timothy O’Donnell

The Arts Page | Exclusive | Milwaukee Ballet – Timothy O’Donnell


(upbeat music) – Hi I’m Sandy Maxx, host of the Arts Page. In this web exclusive the Milwaukee Ballet’s
Timothy O’Donnell talks about his first
experience choreographing his first work for the company, and his transition to
becoming the Ballet Master for the Milwaukee Ballet IIs. – Milwaukee Ballet has one of the only international
choreographic programs in the whole country. In fact, it may be the only choreographic
competition which is 100% international, or opened internationally. Back in 2009 one of
the company dancers who’s now the company manager
was on their summer layoff and was working with me in
western Australia in ballet. And he told me about this
great competition and pushed me to enter, and I ended up sending a DVD of my work back with him. And got a call or
probably an email from Michael quite
soon after asking me to take part in Genesis. When I came to sit
my work for Genesis in the competition, the day I came in, ’cause I was 23 at the time. And the two other
choreographers were a lot older than me and also a lot more
experienced than I was. So it was a very
intimidating way to start. And I actually spent
the whole first day, six hours in the
studio created stuff, came in the next day
and told the dancers that we’re changing everything. So it was, it was a rough start for me
because I was very insecure. And I was fortunate enough to end up winning
that competition which meant that I
got part of the prize. Is you get to come
back next year to create another
work on the company. Which I did and that sort
of continued to snowball. I made a lot of friends
here and just two years after that again I was here
visiting and there happened to be a position for a
dancer in the company. So I sort of
accidentally auditioned and very happily
took the contract. Transitioning into being the second company’s ballet
master feels somewhat natural for me. I’ve worked a lot at the front of the room being the resident
choreographer of the company. I’ve taught the company for the last few years
regularly enough. I teach for the summer program. I’ve trained dancers
for a long time. So it’s quite a
comfortable transition now that my body has decided
that it can’t quite handle the work load of being
a dancer anymore. I feel ready and
excited to be able to give all my experience to these young dancers. – [Sandy] For more
information, visit The Arts Page on
milwaukeepbs.org.

Dereck Turner

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