Henry Leutwyler

David Hallberg's Latest Role? Author

Let's recap David Hallberg's very busy May, shall we? Last week, we announced the American Ballet Theatre principal as our June cover star.


On Monday, he starred as Prince Coffee in the New York premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream.


And today, news broke that he's written a memoir.

This. Man. Is. On. Fiyah.

His memoir, titled A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back, will be released November 7 by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. According to a statement from his publishers, Hallberg has written about everything from his pre-ABT days to his early New York fame, his acclaim at the Bolshoi Ballet, his devastating injury and—the cherry on top—his triumphant return to dance.

Though The New York Times reported that Hallberg began writing about his life when he joined the Bolshoi several years ago, clearly, much his happened since then. "The ensuing struggle to find myself again, as an artist and a person, to not give up after two and a half years of complications, is what the book is really about," he told theTimes.

We want to know everything. But until then, you can get a taste of Hallberg's path in our feature story, including details about his rigorous recovery journey at The Australian Ballet, where he recouped his ankle. Hallberg seems busy these days—but, boy, are we glad.

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Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West

How Do Choreographers Bring Something Fresh to Music We've Heard Over and Over?

In 2007, Oregon Ballet Theatre asked Nicolo Fonte to choreograph a ballet to Maurice Ravel's Boléro. "I said, 'No way. I'm not going near it,' " recalls Fonte. "I don't want to compete with the Béjart version, ice skaters or the movie 10. No, no, no!"

But Fonte's husband encouraged him to "just listen and get a visceral reaction." He did. And Bolero turned into one of Fonte's most requested and successful ballets.

Not all dance renditions of similar warhorse scores have worked out so well. Yet the irresistible siren song of pieces like Stravinsky's The Firebird and The Rite of Spring, as well as the perennial Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, seem too magnetic for choreographers to ignore.

And there are reasons for their popularity. Some were commissioned specifically for dance: Rite and Firebird for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes; Boléro for dance diva Ida Rubinstein's post–Ballets Russes troupe. Hypnotic rhythms (Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel) and danceable melodies (Bizet's Carmen) make a case for physical eye candy. Audience familiarity can also help box office receipts. Still, many choreographers have been sabotaged by the formidable nature and Muzak-y overuse of these iconic compositions.

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