Daniel Jaber – Choreographer
“Daniel was one of the finalists in the 2014 Dance Creation Competition. Dance Creation is the AICD Choreographic Festival held periodically. It will next be held in 2018. Here is Daniel’s report on the experience…”
Houston Ballet II Secondment Report
Thanks to the Australian Institute of Classical Dance and with further support from the Australia Council for the Arts, I was able to undergo a two-week choreographic secondment placement with Houston Ballet 2, in Texas, USA.
During my placement, I spent between one and three hours per day, six days a week working with dancers from the HB2 Company on a new work titled ‘Promptitude’. The secondment culminated in a showing of the piece to HB2 rehearsal directors, HB costume designer, lighting designer and stage manager, in the Dance Lab Theatre at Houston Ballet’s premises.
The piece I started to create is based on the precise and disciplined nature of classical ballet technique. Promptitude is set to the music of J.S Bach and is a purist, technical and hyper physical abstract ballet featuring all 16 dancers of the HB2 ensemble. Currently a work-in-progress, I hope that the work will eventually be further developed and seen as part of HB2’s repertoire in the future. The opportunity to work with a ballet company has always been a dream of mine, and thanks to the AICD my dream came true. I felt blessed during my time at Houston Ballet. Every day the dancers challenged my potential and helped me grow as a choreographer. I was constantly inspired by the dancers passion, dedication and fearlessness. Because of this I believe Promptitude has the potential to be one of my strongest classical works. In particular I was able to challenge and develop my choreographic potential in classical pas de deux. I was mostly proud of my development as a choreographer through the partnering I was able to experiment with in a classical context. It was exhilarating working on a company of dancers with such an outstanding understanding of technique and with such versatility. They were hungry to be pushed every day, and although they were in rehearsal for HB performances, they came to rehearsal with fresh minds and a willingness to be pushed and challenged.
I will forever be indebted to the AICD for running the Dance Creations Competition, which afforded me this opportunity. It is an important, opportunity focused event that I hope will continue for many years to come and will continue to grant amazing experiences, like mine, to other choreographers at important moments in their career.