Born in Rapid City, South Dakota, David Hallberg began his formal ballet training at 13 with Kee Juan Han at the Arizona Ballet School. In 1999, he was accepted into the Paris Opera Ballet School where he continued his studies under the direction of Claude Bessy, Jacques Namont and Gilbert Meyer.Hallberg joined ABT's Studio Company in September 2000 and became a member of the corps de ballet of American Ballet Theatre in April 2001. He was promoted to Soloist in January 2004 and to Principal Dancer in May 2006.
Hallberg has been a guest artist with many companies including the Royal Swedish Ballet, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and the Kiev Ballet. He has danced at galas throughout the world from Japan to the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.Hallberg was a recipient of the Princess Grace Fellowship and the Chris Hellman Dance Award for 2002-2003. He received a nomination for the Benois de la Danse Award in 2006 and won the Benois de la Danse Award in 2010.
David Hallberg joined the Bolshoi Ballet as a Premier Danseur in September 2011, the first American to join the company.
David Hallberg wants to give choreographers a place to experiment. Photo by Patrick Frenette, courtesy ABT
The Metropolitan Opera House is a stadium; an ornately lush stadium, but one nonetheless. The 3,800-seat challenge that American Ballet Theatre readily tackles is typically filled to capacity because of the stalwarts: Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, the classics that, without doubt, have stood the test of time and have brought people in droves to the Met.
A new commission is a risk best handled by the choreographers who can produce works that offer seasoned polish and dependability. Rarely is it given to an "unknown." And although, in the history of large commissions, there inevitably exists a freedom of creative impulse, that freedom must not reach too deep, for the fall off the cliff is steep and far. There is simply too much at stake: time, money, reputation.