This transcript is from an interview that was first published on 4th of April 2017. It is a warm interview that covers so much of Daniel Jaber’s, work and process. This transcript has been edited slightly to help with clarity, the audio of this episode and more information can be found here.
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The interview started with about where Daniel passion of dance come from. [1:28]
Daniel Jaber: That's a really nostalgic question, isn't it? Um, well, my dance journey started at the age of four, which is almost too long ago to remember. But I remember exactly my motivation. My amazing oldest sister had found a dance class in the local church hall. And the only reason we even bothered investigating anything to do in the evening was because my parents were Greyhound trainers and racers, and we used to hate going on Tuesday nights. Like we lived in Nairne, so we used to go to Gawler which is like an hour and a half drive to race these greyhounds and finish at like 10 at night and drive back for another hour and a half. It's just like it was exhausting and we hated and stank. And um so my sister found these like jazz calisthenics classes. And we just started going and I was a Junior, there were only three classes, like real little kids, teenagers, and then all the kids. And then within the first three weeks, I made such improvements that I was allowed to do the senior classes and then I begged to do the Junior’s, Intermediate and Senior Classes. So I was just, I must have fallen in love with it. I would practice at home every night until I got something right and become completely obsessed. I would make my sister be a body for me to make little dances on her. And I think I guess that was the moment it just kind of took over my life.
Andrew: What was it about moving?
Daniel Jaber: you know, like I was grew up in this little country town, and I was one of the only ethnic looking kids, I was very effeminate as a young dude. And I hated talking so that school I was essentially just mute and somehow when I started dancing, I felt like I was relieving myself of emotions and saying things that I wanted to save even though I didn't have to say them, and then I think, you know, it was it was moving as much as it was just being around people who weren't as kind of judgmental or potentially as conservative as the people in this town, or the people this school that I was going to. So I think movement gave me a greater sense of freedom and expression, which sounds really cliché, I'm sure like, a lot of dances would say the same thing, but it really does, like affords you the opportunity to say so much if you're quite uncomfortable in public situations or if you've got any kind of social anxiety Yeah,
Andrew: So when did the leap… there is one thing to practice it as a kid, but then to go actually, this is what I want to do my life….
Daniel Jaber: Yeah Wow. Yeah. Well, that was another process. So the woman that had this little jazz calisthenics school, she left after the first year, and she brought in somebody else to take over the school. But she said, “look, you're really good, you should go to like a good school and do ballet”. And then I found an amazing balance teacher, Christine Underdown and I think in my second year of training with Christine, she took me to see the Australian Ballet do a triple bill, which was a Nacho Duato work a work by Twyla Tharp and also William Forsythe’s, Middle, Somewhat Elevated and Forsythe’s piece was the first piece of the program. And like, from the moment that big, smashing in the music and those white lights came up and those two dancers standing there looking sexy as anything, I like, I turned to her and I literally said, so like, “these guys get paid to do this, right?” And she was like, “Yeah, like, if you want it to be a job, like, you can have a career like, you can go and dance around the world, and people pay you to do it”. And I was like, maybe 10 years old. And that was the moment I just went, Okay, I'm going to, like, invest all of my energy into making sure that one day I get paid to do this. And, and I did, like it ignited me to work hard and take responsibility for my development for the next four years before I started full time study.
Andrew: You started full-time study late in your teens? [6:18]
Daniel Jaber: Yeah, yeah, I was a Junior associate with Australian Ballet School, which kind of mean nothing but it gave me a bit of a bit of credit. I was an interstate Junior Associate. But then I was offered a position of Queensland University of Technology when I was 15, as what did they call it was hilarious, like, as this part of this special gifted artists program. So I didn't have to have finished high school like everybody else. I think they gave out like one opportunity to each of the arts programs at QUT and I was the recipient of that. So I went off to university when I was 15, like some little like mathematician prodigy, or something. I'm feeling good about myself. It was actually really tough. Like, I didn't realize how academic it was gonna be.
Andrew: But also, like, 15, and everyone being older…
Daniel Jaber: Yeah yeah, everyone was legal drinking age. And like, really? And that kind of uni crazy mindset and I was just like, this kid thinking was going to full time dance school. I had no idea how much it was going to open my eyes to kind of, you know, the social world. That existed outside of Nairne South Australia.
Andrew: So, you started a lot in ballet and more into contemporary
Daniel Jaber: Well, even as a kid, I went to a competition school and an examination school. So my primary focus was on classical ballet training. But then I also did jazz, tap, contemporary, singing, hip-hop wasn't around those days, but I'm sure I would have been really good at it. I was interested in versatility and understood from an early age, how being proficient in many different genres could contribute to having a well-rounded career or something. I don't know. I never kind of went, I'm on the, I'm going to be a ballet dancer and that’s it. I would go and see musicals and think I'd love to do that or I'd go and see ballets and go, I'd love to do that. And then, and then I saw ADT and then I thought ‘that’s what I want to do.’ [8:40]
Andrew: And why was that?
Daniel Jaber: You know, I'm techno music real ballistic choreography I'm a real savage use of classicism and entertainment more than anything I had had exposure to contemporary dance before seeing Gary's work, but, his work was the first to kind of really, really entertain and engage me. Yeah, I think that was it and I thought, you know, that's what I want to do to people I want to entertain them and push their kind of idea of what dance is and then it just looked really hard as well. I can look taxing and difficult.
Andrew: So you liked the challenge?
Daniel Jaber: Yeah, yeah. [9:33]
Andrew: You’ve danced across the world and you’ve worked across the world choreographed and doing different thing’s, do you notice big and significant differences, depending on where you are as to what people think of his dance or what they do or practices?
Daniel Jaber: I do. Yeah, I'm from a performance perspective, what is required of you say, between here in Europe is vastly contrasting, but I think in Australia now were sort of somehow aligning ourselves a bit more similarly. But I remember doing my first job in Europe in 2008, coming direct from five and a half years, full time at ADT. And I was…. I always prided myself on my technical proficiency and being really articulate and clean maybe, and I remember that was something I was really criticized for by the choreographer by the other dances was this kind of, you know, almost this, “you try to hard, you're too technical, you need to learn to let go of that”, there was like this huge shift stylistically, but then also, so in how much of the work I was doing in Europe was improvisation based and not so structured. But then you go to the States, and it's somehow like the complete opposite. It's like, it's so demanding. There's so much demand for spectacular commercial tricks. And impressing your peers and your audience through this kind of spectacle driven velocity, I guess. [11:35]
Andrew: So where would you sit now? Do you have a preferred style or would you sit across a few or I…
Daniel Jaber: I sit across a few, I think, you know. In the last, the last year, I've taken a conscious, like evolution through my choreographic work at least have allowed myself to understand that it's okay to work in many different ways and in many different genres. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to be the abstract classist or to be the contemporary artist. Um, but now I really love doing commercial things. I love making competition routines. I love the lyrical genre, it really kind of inspires me somehow. But whereas I think I used to carry a lot of shame with wanting to do that, because I existed in the Australian contemporary dance climate. And it's, it's been really interesting to kind of let go of other people's expectation or pressure and just kind of do what I want to do, because I want to have a good career. So like, if you'd asked me five years ago, or would you consider choreographing for Dance Moms? I would have answered you with such a pretentious attitude, but it's all opportunity. You know, I think that's why I just kind of let all that shit go, all of that shitty like “I'm a contemporary”, all that stuff, which, like, carries a lot of weight on you here. I don’t know if you think or feel…
Andrew: I think there is all this stuff about being a sellout if you're gonna do…
Daniel Jaber: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: So I kind of understand the argument but at the same time you’ve got to eat and you have got to do the things you have to do, you can doing stuff that you're really passionate about. Yeah, you're getting paid for it or you can be doing that one day a week and working in a cafe. I think as long as you're enjoying what you're doing, it's not really selling out anything. You're just pursuing opportunities.
Daniel Jaber: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. Yeah,
Andrew: But I do see that a lot, it is real.
Daniel Jaber: Yeah, yeah, it is. It's very real.
Andrew: Do you think your work now has a signature despite being eclectic, in some respects, do you have your own style?
Daniel Jaber: I don't know if I have my own style. Like, at one point, I was thinking I did. And I don't think that high kicks and lots of turns is a style. I just think it's like something I really love. So I think, I just invest a lot of the things I love with the dance that I love into my work. But also since being in LA, I have to, like, so much of my work now is not my vision coming to a fore. But in fact, it's the vision of a creative director or… yeah, a lot of my work now is making somebody else's vision come to life, through movement, and through choreography, which has greatly advanced my kind of understanding of how people view dance and given me much more, I guess, responsibility in my work to make a product that just makes more sense, I think. So that's driven that's… also in my own work, given me the opportunity to have more bravery, because some of these ideas and themes and concepts that these people give me I never would have broached as a choreographer and my own creative pursuit, but now I can, and I don't feel as shy from it. I don't feel shy about emotions. And I don't shy about narrative. In fact, I want to embrace that. That's, I guess, been the biggest, the biggest shift that no stylistically. No, I don't think so. [16:00]
Andrew: I'm speaking to somebody the other day who used to be a dancer, and they left because they found it like two highly competitive. Um, and I guess there's this perception that dance is very competitive and bitchy, and like infighting, and this idea that is out there in the world. Is a true?
Daniel Jaber: It depends. Yeah, like, it depends, like, of course, it is. Yeah, it is. In dance, I find you, you have your… you create family. Like there, there is this sense that the global dance community is a network, but at the same time, we're all fighting for jobs, we're all fighting for funding, we're all fighting for that next commission, or that next gig that's going to kind of promote us or give us an a new path or a new door. So I think it would be silly to think that it wasn't competitive. And I think, um, yeah, if you want to get ahead, I think you have to, in a way, enjoy competition in a sense, but I think there's also a way to compete the isn't nasty. And I think a lot of those nasty people that compete from a place of, yeah, from a place of ego and bitterness and jealousy. I think that they don't often succeed. But I think that competition is really healthy, actually, it pushes you to do better work, it pushes you to advance your technique, it pushes you to visualize your next idea. Greater and better than ever. So for me competitions, have been a theme and it's been really healthy, to my development.
Andrew: They said there was a difference between being male and female and that competition as well.
Daniel Jaber: Yeah, yeah. Well, yeah, when I was young, for example, all the opportunities were thrown at me, because I was a boy who could dance and I could do it well. But now, I think that's shifted. Like, now, I think it's shifted for both genders. In fact, like women are now you know, it used to be, even when I was training, it was like, ‘boys do certain things and girls do certain things, and they don't cross over and they don't bleed and they don't blend’. But now I think the demands on both male and female to execute the exact same vocabulary. I think that's really, really cool. Because I think there were excuses made for that for a really long time, that weren’t necessary or something, and probably driven by dancers needing to have a particular body type. Um, but then yeah, choreographers have kind of demolish that, especially over the last 15 years, and I think, yeah, and so now, I think it's just as competitive but both genders whereas before for sure, I would say it was easier for boys, there was less of us, you know, and yeah, so a lot more women that try and pursue professional careers than men. [18:55]
Andrew: Looking back at I guess your performance career, performing are there highlight’s so that particular shows or particular moments that stand out?
Daniel Jaber: Mm hmm. Yeah, doing Birdbrain by Gary Stewart. Like a huge… I still consider that one of my life blessings that was the first show of his I ever saw and was the pinnacle moment where I decided that I wanted to work with him. And then I actually saw Tanya Liedtke performing it and I just watched her from start to end with my jaw on the floor. And then, you know, four years later, I was dancing her role, and there's just something really special about that and we toured it for years. So it's the first show I ever took on tour. So it was the first time I ever went overseas. And yeah, that was probably… I always will always hold that as my most precious experiences as a performer. And then also, I guess, doing my solo show Too Far Again, Not Far Enough… was special. Yeah, it just took many, many years to create. And it was very, very personal and very uncomfortable. But it all worked.
Andrew: What was that about?
Daniel Jaber: It was about, I think, probably just identity, identity and coercion. So it was, I started with a story of a gay boy in Maine in the United States, who was beaten and thrown off a bridge. And then this for me, raised a number of questions about identity, religion, how we grow up, what decisions we make, being in a small town and being I guess, stereotyped and facing a version for our sexuality. And then this divided into five vignettes. And then that was the piece itself. And the final product, which, which was presented three years after… four years after its first incarnation ended up being entirely improvised as well. So that was like a bit of a breakthrough moment for me as somebody who's so structured and rigid as a performer, I suppose. So, yeah, they might two highlights. I have got two
Andrew: when he said it was improvised. Do you find yourself doing stuff is familiar to you or improvising and going into areas that are completely unsafe? I guess it's a structured, improvise structured in the improvisations, or is it quite fluid? [21:42]
Daniel Jaber: Well, with this solo, it was quite structured because I had already performed two versions of it. And the first version was choreographed step by step by step. The second version was, I think, three scenes choreographed and to improvise. And then the final version, it was in a double bill and I had a week and a half to finish the other piece. So I just didn't get the chance to like work on my solo until opening night, which was fucked, like I wouldn't suggest it. I yeah, I literally went on stage. And I could not, and I had to improvise. But there was somehow like this four years of knowledge and practice and information that I could maybe access. But I like working with a good director that can get me out of my comfort zone and make me improvise in a way that I would never think that I could. Like Gabrielle Nankivell does that with me whenever I improvise with her. I like feel like this radical wild beast. But there's also some directors that I think the information they give me just kind of it does, maybe doesn't go far enough through the surface for me as the insecure technical boy to have the confidence to just unleash that on my own. So for me, it's like, it's a fine balance, because it's a very vulnerable experience. And I'm not very confident with it. So, um, yeah, it just takes a good director to get me to get there. But it's both.
Andrew: So when you're choreographing, do you think about… I guess those different approaches? [23:25]
Daniel Jaber: Yeah, yeah, the first thing I do is read the energy of each dancer and like, try and understand what they're… not even what their strengths and weaknesses are, but what their interests are. So and you can say, really quickly, ‘okay, there's dances in this room that just want to learn steps and there’s dancers in this room that wanna be really, really pushed physically, there's dancers in this room, I don't want to be pushed at all and as dancers from that are really hungry to improvise this dances in this room that are really hungry to act’. Like he kind of looked at their background, where they've come from, and what they kind of want to do. And then that's how I want to get the best out of them. So yeah, then I'll just usually set them tasks with what I think they want to do, and what they need to do in order to be really inspired. And then just fade in that other stuff in little increments so they barely even notice.
Andrew: So when you're teaching them, what are the elements you try and get across. Because this technique, and there's stylistic things, and there's attitude, and there's a whole range of things that you can teach. But you're so all-rounder in so many ways that you think about, is that something you can teach?
Daniel Jaber: Well, my philosophy as a teacher is I want students to have careers and what careers that is their own journey has their own path, I can kind of point them in a direction. But what I can do is give them the knowledge of the skills required to go out and do an audition in any kind of genre and in any kind of capacity. So most of my teaching work, yeah, there's a lot of technique. There's a lot of work on bravery. There's a lot of work on overcoming aversion, there's a lot of work with dealing with stress, there's a lot of work with taking responsibility for your attitude, and your dancing and your improvement and development. So yeah, as a teacher, I give them a class that goes something like kick, turn, release, drop to the floor, kick, jump, tumble, up, like I try and make it as kind of versatile within any kind of given exercises possible, because I don't teach a particular method or a particular style. But it's more about their kind of brain power and getting them to think and getting them to understand and now I demonstrate less when I teach so that I can see the room and I can give more information. I used to demonstrate everything, and then I would miss half of what they were doing. But then also… Yeah, vocabulary terminology and understanding of dance history is really important. Yeah, there's a lot in teaching dance. For me more than just giving them a good class, that they think is cool, even though that's what they usually want. It's kind of, yeah, it's education.
Andrew: So what advice do you have for young dancers, if they want to pursue a career?
Daniel Jaber: That you can that you can and that every single person that you're trying to get to notice you, knows if you're working at your full potential or not.
So that's my theory in teaching students, it's like anything will happen and can happen so long as you believe it and you work every second that you can to your full potential. Yeah, complacency will kill the opportunity to make it in this industry, as it gets more and more and more ferociously competitive and jobs get less and less and less, but I think what people are looking for, certainly is like strong minded, creative, ambitious and positive people to be around.
Andrew: I finished writing a chapter the other day on dance and desire. There's a lot of stuff written about sexuality and sensuality and how historically it's been downplay it or denied, but then a lot dancers report actually when the dancing they want to have a sensuality to what they doing, they want to be desirable. Is that something that dance still to tries to denial downplay, the idea of sensuality and sexuality that has so often been removed, I guess, or ignored?
Daniel Jaber: Yeah, I've seen a lot of dance shows were I go wow, this is really unsexy. And I don't know why, because it is. It's the, it's the human body moving in amazing, beautiful ways. I think there's nothing more sensual than dance, probably, maybe is nothing more sexual than dance in a sense. I guess we don't think about it the same as what people would have in the past. I mean, I would reflect upon the 'The ballerina's phallic pointe' by Susan Foster and how, um, you know, in the early days of classical ballet back in, you know, like 1800s, how, even how they touched each other would have been perceived as such an erotic and intense sexual moment. But of course, yeah, that's kind of, we've evolved and we've changed and how we look at those things. The marketing and advertising is so pronounced in its overt sexuality, so maybe we're kind of not there anymore. Like at the forefront of that kind of this is what physicality can look like, between two people or between a mass of people.
I would like dance to be a bit sexier, but sexier in general. Not in, of course, not in a gratuitous way, but I guess more attractive in general.
Andrew: In terms of the career there's not many spaces in which you're actively elicit desire or sexuality in such explicit way. That makes it quite unique as a performing art. [29:37]
Daniel Jaber: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there's nothing more powerful than being on stage as a dancer and feeling like, you know, like, when it's just you, and hundreds of people are looking at you, I think. Um, yeah, yeah. You do feel desirable for sure. You feel incredibly powerful. You feel intoxicating. And it's probably a confidence in an area that many of us maybe lack outside of that space, which is the stage, which is the performance.
Yeah, like, I used to love getting naked on stage. But I used to not love it so much in normal life, for example, but I always felt really confident on stage doing it, which is weird in front of like, hundreds of strangers, but it gives you, yeah, it gives you a power and a sense of status.
Andrew: What makes you feel so powerful in that moment or gives that permission? [30:37]
Daniel Jaber: You know, I think there's an understanding that what you're doing is looked at from many eyes that perhaps couldn't accomplish these things on their own. And so I don't know, certainly, when I look at artists working like, I can't paint or sing there's this, um, yeah, I find that desirable, you know, it like this, there's a part of me that kind of wishes I had that talent, or I can easily look at those gifts in awe. And so I think there's an assumption that that's what people are doing with you. That and when you give a really good performance, I could really authentic genuine performance, you know, that you've somehow transported them.
And then there's this, maybe you think that that's a fantasy that's left in their mind forever. Like, that's what I used to think was, you know, maybe these people will remember that moment I did on stage for ever, but maybe they won't, but maybe in 10 years that I'm going to, like, flash up in their mind. And they're going to think, “oh yeah I remember” just had this thought of that dude, doing that thing?
Andrew: Well, because you remember so many performance that you have seen so why would others?
Daniel Jaber: Yeah, yeah, exactly. There's something…yeah, there's something archaeological or something about it, you know, you're making a little tattoo or an imprint on somebody's memory.
Andrew: So that performances that are really well, what about the ones that are horribly or don’t I feel as good?
Daniel Jaber: I learned to let them go really quickly. And Gary [Stewart] helped me with that, because I was highly anxious and very nervous performer, when I first joined the company, I was going to traineeship for the first three months, and I went on stage, and I fell over out of something. And I ran up to him after the show, and I was crying. And I was like, “you're not gonna offer me a job, now are you, like, I fell out of that thing”. And he was like “don't be stupid. Like, you're not a machine. Like we can't expect every night to be the same, you know, it's always going to be different”. And that really, like humbled my sense of what can happen and what can’t happen. Um, but yeah, it took a lot of… I saw a sports psychologist and learn to like, just let it go. And like, it was about learning that you can't change the past, which was much more a life lesson than a dance lesson. But like, yeah, okay, I fell over for on stage, there's nothing I can do about it, you know, make up for it tomorrow.
Andrew: This year, I mean last year I should say, you did Dance Moms and you did the StarDancer, which is also very different in terms of a recorded dance. Do you want to talk about different things you've been doing?
Daniel Jaber: Yeah. Okay. So yeah, um, I've worked with Ballerina Black a lot on their music videos. I've been doing last year and this year working on…. Oh, yeah. Last year now. Yeah. Yeah, I forgot. Yeah, last year, end of 2015, started with my Dance Moms as choreographer and coach and StarDancer, which was this multi million dollar project for Dubai Festival City, which was amazing. Amazing. So all of these things I've been doing while I've been away. StarDancer we started in Sydney so that was a local project and everything else has been in LA. Working in film and TV has essentially brought me back to study like I, really had… I was very experienced in making work for stage and even making work for spaces, but live work. Then, yeah, I really kind of had to re-teach myself in a way and find new mentoring for creating work that was suitable for film and camera, which is actually very different for me, and challenged me and all the right ways because that's what I wanted. And that's what I needed, was a challenge. And there was nothing more challenging. So, um, but I've loved it. I loved working on Dance Moms. It was really like, you know, I didn't have too much involvement with the mothers so I was just in you know, I did all that stuff that you guys don't see when you watch the show, which was training and rehearsing these kids that work their asses off to bring amazing new routines to the show every single week and fly around America doing press and interviews and then fly back to LA at 2am and then come to class at nine and work their asses off all day into six and it was just amazing. It really gave me a love of teaching children teaching children and also took me back to competition land, which is where it all started, which was very good for my inner child, I think. StarDancer was another amazing opportunity, I collaborated with Laservision on a solo performance for Jessica Hesketh who is very, very good friend of mine, so we had a very intimate and beautiful time creating that and that premiered in Dubai on December 26. Guinness world record for the largest water screen projection, which was, that was crazy! I think Jesse's dancing body is something like 35 meters tall. And then she dances up to the Intercontinental and throw his planets around and smash shit up. And it's really spectacular. Um, but yeah, all of these projects like we said before, were like, very much me taking the responsibility of having another person's vision come to life. So yeah, it's been really, they really different processes, because I am, although it's a huge responsibility, because you don't want to disappoint anybody. You want it to look exactly like what it looks like their mind and usually they're not dancers, it's um, it teaches you to talk about dance in a different way that not only dancers understand, it teaches you… so much emphasis on collaboration, which I found really, really cool
Andrew: When you speak about dance outside of dance, how do you find that language to explain what you are doing and what you are thinking?
Daniel Jaber: I find it really hard. Like, I find it really hard. You know, there's a dance vocabulary and a terminology that is learned and studied. And when a dancer says to another dancer, one thing, it's it, you feel it physically, when your muscles engage in what that experience is? I'm talking about tension or quality, or what kind of emotion you want to speak through your body. But when you're talking to somebody who doesn't have that knowledge, or even basic dance steps, like, you know, you find yourself going, oh, yeah. okay. “You wanted to do? Okay. Yeah. What if she does, like a Plié?” You know, for most people, it's like, you know, and then you have to do you just have to go back to the basics. For me, it's like, it is like talking to a little kid. But without sounding condescending, because they grown adults paying you a lot of money. So I don't know, I like I try to use a lot of visualization. And I try and use a lot of photos or pictures on my phone of like, colors or fabrics and textures. And yeah….. [38:41]
Andrew: And then also, the difference between doing something that's live and something that's recorded for screen for what, all sorts different screens. That must, I guess, be an interesting way of rethinking and gives you a whole range of different possibilities that you can't do on a stage.
Daniel Jaber: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So it's through the, you know, beautiful use of editing you can create all of these illusions, and these wonderful things that you wish you could do on stage, you know, how often I have been making a piece and though “oh god that would be amazing, if she just disappeared there, then it would be like a blackout are huge applause,” but they can't do that on stage. You've got to be a bit more strategic and pragmatic. But, in terms of choreography, for film, and for the camera, it's just yeah, the scale is so much different. Like, so I can't get away with little, quirky, intricate, articulate things. Like it's got to be big. It's going to take up the screen. It's, yeah, it's got to be… the drama has to be amplified. And yeah, the scale and the proportion is different. That was the biggest thing I learnt
Andrew: So you haven’t you seen the film?
Daniel Jaber: No not yet have, just been seeing everything online. And yeah,
Andrew: That must be super weird not being there.
Daniel Jaber: Oh, it's super weird. So opening night was seen by 17,000 people. And so I saw a little clip, that Laservision sent me and it was wild! You know, everyone's got their phone out filming it, you know, it is like the old cigarette lighters or candles, this swarm of glowing cameras and just people screaming and it would have been really special to have been there for that. But it's was on a really crappy day, December 26th.
Andrew: So will this be one of your most watched works?
Daniel Jaber: Well no, because the choreography I do on Dance Moms get seen by 6 million. So sure on the life sense. Absolutely. That probably the most spectacular thing I've ever done maybe ever, will be this project would be this project.
Andrew: Yeah, I guess we're gonna keep moving more in that direction?
Daniel Jaber: Yeah, I'll never say no to Dance Moms. There's a couple more things in LA this year for television, so it's kind of it's something that I've really just kind of skim the surface we so I want to keep like charging at it. But yeah, I yeah, but also I will always love making stage shows. They really special. Yeah, a really special experiences
Andrew: With such a passion for dance what would you do to fill your days if it wasn’t for dance?
Daniel Jaber: Eat, probably eat. Wow that's depressing when you can’t answer that. It is like “Who am I?” No but….
Andrew: Perhaps it is not depressing, because it means you are doing what you want to do.
Daniel Jaber: Well yeah. Well the question comes at the perfect time because I've just had two weeks.... this is my third week off. And so while I've not been teaching or choreographing, I've not been in a studio, like I've just been listening to music and writing, consolidating ideas and booking work for the next year. So it was like it's not been off at all, but it still feels like a holiday. But like I would I would probably cook a lot and just cook and eat, I think I've adopted back from my family you know, something communal when joyous about feeding people. [42:45]
Andrew: Well because the world of a freelancer is not easy, in the sense that you don't know where your next gig is and you're always lining up stuff. One project and there's something else that starts, or you hope something else starts. Yeah. Yeah. Like, that's quite stressful for a lot of people. Yeah. How do you balance that?
Daniel Jaber: Yeah. How do I balance that? Well, I try to line up work as quickly as I can. So I usually focus the last quarter of the previous year on really nothing but securing jobs for the next year. And I might sometimes only have three and they might not be to the middle of the year, which kind of poses the question “What the hell am I going to do for the first six months of the year?” It's still kind of gives me enough motivation not to give up. But it's yeah, it's really hard. It's hard. being your own manager. It's really hard being your own manager, because everybody wants to screw you over and not through…. I don't think people are being particularly mean by doing so or comes from a bad place. But yeah, like finances are always an ugly thing to talk about, demanding what you're actually worth. And what you need is hard, because we come from this culture of, “oh yeah, I'll do anything and I'll do it whenever you want to know do it for free”. And so it is hard being your own lawyer, it's hard scheduling things, because I always get to things that are on it exactly the same time. It's like, it's hustle, it's like non stop hustle. It's like being in LA, you know, it's like you go to choreographic submissions or castings just all day long, with no security that it's actually going to amount to anything but you go anyway because you have to and like, I like that philosophy for here in Australia. You know, except it's not submissions and castings. It's like just sending emails constantly to people you know, I can be a little bit somewhat a little bit aggressive to get things done. I think being too… like if something comes up and it's you know, it's somewhat loosely promised I will ensure that it comes to fruition and as quickly as possible, I mean, just because I'd want to contribute, and I want to keep doing what I do. It's important.