The mind behind the choreography for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, arriving at Toowoomba’s Empire Theatre this September, is no stranger to the stage. However, he is far from a traditional choreographer: Daniel Erbacher is still a student at St Joseph’s College.

Just seventeen, Daniel is juggling the creative demands of theatre with his final year of schooling. However, he takes it all in his stride with the calm professionalism of a seasoned choreographer. And with good reason.

“Sweeney Todd marks my fourth full-scale production as a choreographer,” he said, listing off Grease, Bugsy Malone and Take the Stage as current and previous credits.

While Sweeney Todd may not be a traditional song-and-dance musical, each step and movement has been carefully plotted with razor-like precision.

“It isn’t your classic ‘break into song and dance’ show, but instead takes inspiration from such things as the melody lines written in Sondheim’s music, the change in time signature, the intention behind the characters, lyrics, and the build in intensity throughout the music,” Daniel said.

He is no stranger to performing, either.

“I have been dancing since I was eight and have had the honour of being taught by Dale Maree Coles, Theresa Conrick, Bonnie Logan and more recently Alison Vallette at Dance Central Toowoomba,” he said.

“In 2015, I trained with the Queensland Ballet under the guidance of Christian Tatchev and internationally renowned Artistic Director Li Cunxin. I have performed in many local productions including The Boy From Oz, The Wizard of Oz, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, Legally Blonde The Musical, Wicked, Evita and Aida.”

After graduating high school, Daniel hopes to study musical theatre and ideally perform professionally in the future.

For now, however, Daniel is content to take up the challenge of bringing the story of a murderous Victorian barber to life on the Empire Theatre stage next month.

“I have really enjoyed working with a talented cast and dedicated production team,” he said.

“People who come and see our production will delve into the mind of the Demon Barber Of Fleet Street and travel on a journey with him as they realise that he is misunderstood and judged as being this savage, one track minded demon when really he has so much more soul and purpose then what is seen through the barber shop window.”

Presented by the Toowoomba Choral Society, Sweeney Todd tells the tale of a London barber who returns home after 15 years of exile, and his quest for revenge on the evil Judge Turpin. When revenge eludes him, Sweeney swears vengeance on the entire human race, murdering as many people as he can, while his business associate Mrs Lovett bakes the bodies into meat pies and sells them to the unsuspecting public.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will run over three shows between 1 and 3 September. Tickets can be purchased through through the Empire Theatre Box Office.

Read more about the Sweeney Todd production here.


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