There's a moment in this just-released short film—featuring David Hallberg, that prince of princes—that really resonates. He grabs his left knee, then right, then right ankle, then left, with a kind of testing touch to make sure that everything is responsive. It's a nod to a dancer's relationship with his or her body, that all-powerful instrument that sometimes—often—can fail. Hallberg himself recently returned to the stage after being sidelined with ankle injuries for nearly a year. (He's dancing beautifully, by the way, and performing two Romeo and Juliets this week—with Polina Semionova tonight and Natalia Osipova on Friday.)
Back to "Hallberg at Work." Made by NOWNESS (a lifestyle website that's owned by fashion house LVMH), the film was shot at American Ballet Theatre's studios at 890 Broadway and the choreography is by none other than fellow ABT principal (and DM favorite) Marcelo Gomes. We're not sure that the title really reflects what's going on here (we're pretty sure that Hallberg, at work, doesn't get to be so solitary and serene—or climb on the barre) but the footage does capture his introspective spirit and, when it can tear itself away from his face, his gorgeous line. (To see more of those famous legs and feet, check out Dance Magazine's behind-the-scenes video of his June 2012 cover shoot.)
Photo taken on set at ABT Studios in NYC, May 2013, by Garen Barsegian.
NOWNESS' dance films are a lovely mix of movement and fashion. See New York City Ballet's Janie Taylor (choreography by Justin Peck) here, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's Craig Black (choreography by Benjamin Millepied) here, and Lil Buck here.