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Genesis 2009 winner Tim O'Donnell - One Year Later

Hi everyone!

Well I couldn't be more excited to be back in the studios of Milwaukee Ballet. I am so so lucky to get a second opportunity to create work on such wonderful, talented and committed dancers!

Genesis was such an amazing experience, and for me it was the stepping stone I needed to get to the next level in my choreographic career! Just being accepted as a competitor in last year's competition was enough for me. I felt so touched and privileged. There were so many other wonderful choreographers who didn't get that chance, and so coming into the competition I put a lot of pressure on myself to make the most of every second I had to work on my skills, not just as a choreographer but also as a rehearsal director. Making up the steps is only one half of the process. Getting the dancers together and creating an atmosphere is just as important as the steps.

The two other choreographers in last year's competition, Maurice Causey and Cameron McMillan created such inspiring works, and they both had such different processes or approaches to creating work. Being able to talk to them both so openly about their work and their experiences in life and art have changed me forever and I can't thank them enough for being so wonderfully generous last year. I can not put a price on what I learned form each of them. On top of that I also made two great friends that I will hold in my heart for the rest of my life.

For anyone who saw Genesis last year, you would know that any of the works could have won. It was a truly magical evening of dance.When the prizes were announced I nearly fell over as my name was announced as the winner! I got the greatest gift any aspiring choreographer could ask for, an opportunity to create another work!

So here I am back in Milwaukee. Once again I am having a magical time here, both in and out of the studio, Raven Wales took me ice fishing the other day... Wow... I have never felt so much like I was on another planet. I mean, one week I am sitting on a beach in Western Australia under the blistering Aussie sun, the next I am flying along at 60mph on a snow mobile atop a frozen lake!!!! What a buzz!

The last year has been an interesting one for me. Three days after my return to Australia last year I had a shoulder operation which had me out for about six months. Then after some lengthy rehab I was back dancing and once again fighting fit!

The work I created here last year The Games We Play is currently being performed by West Australian Ballet. I left West Australian Ballet so myself and three colleagues could form our own dance and production company "ludwig". It is a very exciting step in my life and I hope one day in the near future we will be able to come and perform for the people of Milwaukee! You can see us online at www.ludwigproductions.com.au. Our Web site is currently having some matinience done but it should be fixed up in the next week, so check it out then!

Anyway, I must get myself into rehearsal now, so until next timeā€¦

Timothy O'Donnell