Back in December, we jumped for joy when we learned that David Hallberg would be making a triumphant return to the stage. It’s been a little over a year since the American Ballet Theatre and Bolshoi Ballet star moved to Australia to take care of an ankle injury, working closely with the Australian Ballet’s physiotherapy team.
After a comeback performance as Franz in the Australian Ballet’s Coppélia (a role debut for him!), Hallberg was back on the roster for ABT’s spring season. He’s scheduled to dance in the new Alexei Ratmansky work Whipped Cream in California next month, and in New York in May.
But it looks like Hallberg’s time in Australia isn’t over just yet. This week, according to the Melbourne-based paper The Age, the Australian Ballet named him their first international resident guest artist. In this role, he’ll perform with the company every year, and he has also agreed to do some mentoring and coaching (something we know is important to him).
Hallberg has been vocal in his praise of the Australian Ballet’s medical team. He told The Age that he credits the company with getting him back onstage, and relishes the opportunity to give back to them. The decision may also reflect Hallberg’s uncertainty about the next steps in his career, and a reluctance to jump right back into the setup he had before. “I’m taking everything performance by performance,” he told The Age. “I’m not looking into making a complete five-year plan.”
For now, Hallberg’s international career will stay more international than ever. This weekend, lucky Australian audiences can catch him in The Sleeping Beauty, and he plans to be back in Australia later this year.