As we all have heard by now, Mr. David Hallberg will be succeeding David McAllister as Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet in 2021. Hallberg has had a long and intimate relationship with the company, so it comes as no surprise that we are thrilled to hear that The Ballet will be left in such capable hands!
However, when it comes down to it, as Hallberg made his name across the pond in the US, some of our members may need a quick crash course on all things Hallberg!
“I am thrilled for the future of this company, a company that inspires me with its level of excellence and global standard. I look forward to using the experience I’ve garnered over my 20-year career around the world and funnelling it into the culture of The Australian Ballet. The future looks very bright for this world class company.” ~ David Hallberg
How did Hallberg rise up?
Inspired to dance by a Fred Astaire film in his childhood, Hallberg joined the American Ballet Theatre in 2000, joining the corps de ballet in 2001. His talent was clearly noted as within five years he was promoted to Principal Artist. From this starting point, he became a resident guest artist with an eclectic mix of countries, from the Paris Opera Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, and of course, The Australian Ballet. In 2011, he became the first American Principal Dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet. He is also a Principal Guest Artist with both the Australian Ballet and the Royal Ballet in London.
Why The Australian Ballet?
Hallberg has had a long history with The Australian Ballet throughout his career, including a long period of residence as he recovered for two years from injury. He has been a regular guest artist with the Australian Ballet for over 10 years and appreciates the sense of inclusivity he feels when he returns to Australia.
Since the beginning, he has always aspired to direct a company, however, he reported to the NY Times that he has “felt satiated on a certain level as a dancer,” and is ready to transition forward with a company he is deeply connected with.
Where will he take our company?
The big question. From McAllister, we have seen an era of stability and international growth, but where to from now? Hallberg reports he will be very focused on curating innovative ideas and nurturing a positive environment for dancer growth and training. He thrives on spectating different cultures and training regimes, so we have no doubt he will transform our company to new levels of ability.
Although his programming intentions are kept securely under lock and key, Hallberg has brainstormed certain names and choreographers he thinks should visit and debut down-under. I think we can expect that under his directorship, The Australian Ballet will be increasingly thrusted into the limelight of the global ballet arena.
However, the beauty of the Ballet is that it is not made up by any one person. It is a team, a Company, and Hallberg reported to the New York times that “Come January 2021, it won’t be about me anymore; it will be about this institution and its dancers.”
Here’s to the next era of The Australian Ballet.