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Mireille Favarel | Artistic Director
Mireille Favarel was born in Toulon, France. After studying with Rosella Hightower at the Centre de Danse International in Cannes, Lydia Menchova from the Bolshoi, Robert Bestonso from the Royal Ballet and Raymond Franchetti from the Paris Opera, Favarel began her professional career at 17 with Ballet du Rhin in Strasbourg (now the Ballet of the Opéra national du Rhin). She subsequently joined Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium as a soloist, where she performed her first principal role as Swanhilda in August Bournonville’s Coppélia at 19. Favarel later joined Ballet der Deutsch Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, Germany as a soloist, under the direction of Paolo Bortoluzzi as well as Ballet du Nord in Roubaix, France, under the direction of Alphonso Cata as a principal dancer.
In addition to appearing with the Ballet du Nord during many of its international tours, Favarel represented France in the first New York International Ballet Competition. She was invited to perform in the gala performance for the next competition, and later returned as a coach and teacher for the NYIBC.
Favarel joined Milwaukee Ballet as a principal dancer in 1989, where she performed all of the major roles in the company repertoire. The most memorable are her interpretations of Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, Coppélia , and Giselle. In 1990, dance critic Tom Strini named her “Dancer of the Year” for her work in Swan Lake, Serenade, and Coppélia . During her time with Milwaukee Ballet, many choreographers created works for her, including Kathryn Posin’s Tehillim and Bach’s Lunch, as well as Simon Dow’s Spartacus. In May 2000, Favarel gave her farewell performance and became Ballet Mistress for the Company.
Mireille Favarel is currently Artistic Director of Milwaukee Ballet II (MBII). She also teaches and coaches Milwaukee Ballet Company and MBII. Favarel is a frequent guest teacher at major ballet schools and companies in Bulgaria, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, and in her native country of France. In March of 2012, Favarel staged Kathryn Posin’s Scheherazade for the National Ballet of Bulgaria, in Sofia. She staged Scheherazade again for Milwaukee Ballet in 2016. She continues to perform character roles for Milwaukee Ballet, most recently as James’ mother in La Sylphide and the Queen in Swan Lake.
Timothy O'Donnell | Rehearsal Director
Timothy O’Donnell began training at his mother’s ballet school at age seven. He continued at The Australian Ballet School where he received several awards, including The Australian Institute of Classical Dance’s national choreographic competition. After graduating, he joined West Australian Ballet where he performed principal and soloist roles and worked closely with many celebrated international artists such as Paul Lightfoot, Petr Zuska, Simon Dow, Matjash Morzewski, and Ivan Cavallari. In 2007, he won Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer at the West Australian Dance Awards.
In 2009, O’Donnell won Milwaukee Ballet’s international choreographic competition, Genesis, for The Games We Play. As part of his grand prize, he returned in 2010 to create Boléro–Let There Be Light. Shortly after, he appeared as a choreographer on “So You Think You Can Dance–Australia.”
Since joining Milwaukee Ballet as a Leading Artist in 2012, O’Donnell has been featured as Marcello in La Bohème, Verdigris (the green stepsister) in Cinderella, and the title character in Dorian Gray.
As the Company’s resident choreographer, he has staged five world premieres: Children of the Wall, Talk to Me, The Sixth Sin, Sans Pleurer, and More Truth Than Poetry.
O’Donnell semi-retired from the stage in 2019, and transitioned to become a Character Leading Artist and Rehearsal Director of the second company, Milwaukee Ballet II.
Michael Pink is the longest serving artistic director in Milwaukee Ballet’s history. Since arriving in 2002, he has demonstrated his commitment to the future of dance through new work, education, and collaboration. His artistic vision for Milwaukee Ballet continues to excite and challenge.Learn More