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Timothy O’Donnell is a dancer, choreographer, graphic artist, art director, and photographer who hails from Wauchope, Australia. He is currently a Leading Character Artist and resident choreographer at Milwaukee Ballet.
His choreographic style is physically explosive; equal parts intricate and intelligent; impressive and interesting. His works ruminate on issues that affect us all, from the complexities of love, to the strife of misunderstandings, to the intrinsic desire to express and rebel, to body image. He holds up a mirror to the audience and invites them to think about their own idiosyncrasies.
O’Donnell commenced his dance training with his mother, Francessca O’Donnell, at her ballet school at age seven. He eventually joined The Australian Ballet School in where he won several awards, including the Jacob Bloch Memorial Award and first place in The Australian Institute of Classical Dance’s national choreographic competition.
As a dancer, O’Donnell performed multiple principal and soloist roles for West Australian Ballet in works including Coppèlia, Cinderella, The Red Shoes, The Nutcracker, and Romeo & Juliet. O’Donnell was also fortunate enough to work with celebrated national and 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.
O’Donnell continued to explore choreography during his years dancing at West Australian Ballet. In 2009, he entered Milwaukee Ballet’s international choreographic competition, Genesis, where he was awarded first place and the Audience Choice Award for his work, The Games We Play. As part of his grand prize, he returned in 2010 to create another new work, Boléro–Let There Be Light.
As co-director of Ludwig, he worked for major dance events such as the Australian Dance Awards and appeared as a choreographer on “So You Think You Can Dance–Australia.”
O’Donnell made Milwaukee Ballet his home in 2012. Joining Michael Pink’s company was a full-circle moment for him as Pink’s Dracula, which he saw at age 15, was a major influence on his path to becoming a choreographer.
Since joining the company, he has danced as Marcello in La Bohème, Verdigris (the green stepsister) in Cinderella and the title character in Dorian Gray.
As resident choreographer, he has staged five world premieres in Milwaukee: Children of the Wall, Talk to Me, The Sixth Sin, Sans Pleurer (Without Crying) and more truth than poetry.
O’Donnell is also a force behind the scenes. He serves as an artistic adviser to the Milwaukee Ballet marketing department, managing projects that include art directing photo shoots, creating promotional videos and graphic design.
O’Donnell is well-respected a faculty member at Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy. He also teaches private lessons and choreographs pieces for competition.