THIRTY-SIX young dancers from across the Monaro were put through their paces at an intensive one day workshop with world renowned choreographer Josh Horner recently. For dance students in rural Australia, to have the opportunity to work under Joshua's expertise, is a credit to the Tim Draxl Performing Art Fund. Tim and his hardworking volunteer committee are passionate about providing opportunities for the youth of the Monaro to explore, improve and refine all aspects of the performing Arts and are to be congratulated for their efforts and vision.
The dancers were drilled on technique, polished to perfection, sharing some of the secrets of showbiz for all students involved, whilst learning a variety of routines which culminated in a mock audition for a place in one of his shows at Disneyland. Josh pulled no punches and this mock audition certainly provided an authentic experience. Jindabyne Central School Year 7 student Emmie Phillips, in a fiercely fought out battle certainly impressed Josh much to her always humble delight.
Joshua's talent for humour and his sharing of many anecdotes were an added and most welcome bonus for all involved including spectators, parents, dance teachers and school staff. Josh's ability to connect with his students was incredibly impressive and his level of energy was awe inspiring.
Joshua spent five and a half years with the Australian Ballet as a principal dancer performing principal roles such as "Spartacus" in Spartacus and featured in works like In the Upper Room, Four Temperaments, In the Night, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, Manon, The Merry Widow, Greame Murhphy's Swan Lake and Nutcracker, Mercurial Maneouvers, Voluntaries, Por Vos Muero, The Three Musketeers, Rites and Divergence just to name a few. He was nominated for a Helpmann Award (Australia's Tony's) in 2002 for Best Male Dancer and in 2003 won an Australian Dance Award for "Most Outstanding Performance in a Stage Musical" for his performance in "Tivoli" and has performed many lead roles on Broadway, the UK and here at home in Australia.
Joshua was cast in the first offshore production of 'Billy Elliot the Musical' in Sydney playing the role of 'Older Billy'. Joshua was asked to join the Broadway production of 'Billy Elliot' and performed as one of the 'Older Billy's' at the 2009 Tony Awards with Sir Elton John. Joshua currently resides in Los Angeles where he is a Choreographer. Joshua choreographed Disney's award winning attraction 'World of Color' and night time stage show 'ElecTRONica' based on the Tron Legacy, both shows are in Disney's Californian Adventure. Most recently and his biggest project to date was choreographing Disneyland's newest Parade 'Soundsational' which opened to rave reviews from the LA Times.
Joshua also made his TV debut in May 2011 as the new Judge on 'Dancing with the Stars' in Australia with the channel seven network. He is also an energetic TV Host, passionate 'ideas man' and aims to one day fulfill his life long dream to become a Disney 'Imagineer'
The next event for the Tim Draxl Performing Arts Fund is Jindy Idol on Saturday September 20. If you would like to enter and compete for cash prizes, and maybe begin your ' Journey' towards stardom or simply attend and enjoy a great night out whilst supporting our local talent of all ages, save the date and keep a look out in the Summit Sun for further details.