Daniel Jaber started ballet when he was aged four, when he attended dance classes with his sister. He recounts seeing In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated, a work by William Forsythe, as a child and it was in this moment that he knew he wanted to become a professional dancer. At 15, Daniel started studying at Queensland University of Technology, obsessed with movement and dance:
“Movement gave me a greater sense of freedom and expression.”
Daniel recounts Australian Dance Theatre (ADT) work Bird Brain and being blown away by the performance of Tanja Liedtke. He loved the work of ADT’s artistic director Garry Stewart due to his ballistic choreography and “savage use of classicism”. In 2003, Daniel started working full time for ADT. He ended up dancing Liedtke part:
“I still consider that one of my life’s blessings.”
Daniel has danced throughout Australia, Asia, US, Europe and the UK. He has worked with Phillip Adams BalletLab, Joachim Schloemer, Frances d’Ath, Philip Fabre, Clint Lutes, Alison Currie, Gabrielle Nankivell and Ross Ganf.
In 2014, Daniel was appointed the Artistic Director of Leigh Warren and Dancers (LWD). A position he only held for a year, before leaving to pursuing more lucrative opportunities overseas. Since then, he has been working extensively in LA, working on the hit television show Dance Moms as Ballet Master and Choreographer. He also created a work called StarDancer for the largest water screen in the world, in Dubai.
Daniel is also devoted to teaching the next generation of dancers. He runs classes and workshops at different studios, including Transit Dance in Melbourne. His aim is to give young dancers the confidence and skills to pursue a careers in dance. His advice to young dancers being:
“Complacency will kill the opportunity to make it in this industry.”
Find out more:
Nought for ADT
Push & Pull, Dance Moms
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Photo credit: Paul Malek