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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 in 2012, O’Donnell has appeared 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: Children of the Wall, Talk to Me, The Sixth Sin, Sans Pleurer and More Truth Than Poetry.