THE Australian Ballet has today (March 3) announced the appointment of US dance star David Hallberg as its next artistic director, succeeding David McAllister, who will retire in December this year.
Hallberg is presently the flagship ballet company’s resident guest artist and is a principal dancer with both American Ballet Theatre and The Bolshoi Ballet, as well as principal guest artist with The Royal Ballet.
A regular visitor to Australia in the last 10 years, both as a resident guest artist and during a 14-month-long residency during injury rehabilitation, he is considered one of the ballet world’s most exciting talents and his appointment is expected to usher in a new era for both the Australian Ballet and for dance in Australia.
Hallberg says: “It is a great honour to join this iconic cultural institution as its next artistic director.”
“I have fallen in love with Australia, its people and this wonderful ballet company… I am thrilled for the future of this company, a company that inspires me with its level of excellence and global standard,” he says.
Born in South Dakota, Hallberg trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School and joined American Ballet Theatre in 2001, where he was appointed as principal dancer in 2006. In 2011 he became the first American to join the Bolshoi Ballet under the title “Premier Dancer”.
He created The David Hallberg Scholarship at American Ballet Theatre, a mentorship for young aspiring male dancers and directs ABT Incubator, a workshop for emerging choreographic talent. He is the author of a critically acclaimed memoir, “A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back”.
While Hallberg will not take up the role of artistic director until next year, he will be in close contact with David McAllister and executive director Libby Christie in planning for a seamless transition.